You love what you do, you love helping people and yet you freeze or hesitate in the moment of asking for a referral from a happy customer.
What is it that arises in us that stops us from saying what might seem just a simple sentence?
Fear of being rejected? Fear of being a burden? Fear of coming across needy or looking desperate? No one wants to sound pushy or “salesy”. We just want to get on with what we love doing and get more customers in the most easy natural way.
After diving deep with many of our clients into a topic of asking for referrals, we have uncovered that the following perspectives and tips make the most difference:
What emotions are you experiencing when asking for a referral or considering it? Many of our clients name ‘shame’, ‘awkwardness’, ‘embarrassment’. Investigate what triggers this emotion? What beliefs are you carrying and when they were created. Rather than being controlled by this emotion or reaction, try to see that everything has a meaning that you give to it. And the meaning can be changed.
- Shift your mindset.
If you truly believe in what you do, it is your responsibility to spread the word about it. Take “you” out of the picture and focus on the difference your product or service can make in peoples’ lives if it reaches more people. What is the biggest benefit your client/customer will get as a result of working with you? What will it be worth for them? Remind yourself of that. Often. Make asking for a referral your duty of care.
- Create a process.
The hesitation of asking for a payment or referral can happen when you don’t have a strong process to follow. It is not thought through, not written down, not documented, not practised. You hope to wing it to sound more natural. However, when it comes to taking action, you are lost for words or emotions take over.
Create a step by step process of what to say and when to say it. Test it with your customers, alter it and find a way that gets the best response.
- Educate with quotable content
Share your deep insights from the industry. Something that is not common knowledge, an awakening perspective, a shocking statistic, a gold nugget that your clients can share with their circle together with the reference to your name or your business.
- Change asking into giving.
Think of the ways to turn a referral into a gift.
What could your clients/customers pass on to their friends and family who might have a problem that you solve? A gift voucher with a session with you? A video with invaluable tips? An ebook? Friends and family discount? How can you make it easier for the client/customer to share information about you?
People love giving and receiving gifts. Give an opportunity to your client to feel generous, caring and considerate by passing on your gift to someone they care about.
- Pick your timing.
What is the time that your customer realises how much value they have gotten? Pick the moment when your product or service had the most impact. When is the client most impressed, emotional, grateful? That’s a good time to ask before the memory fades away.
- Use humour.
Nothing dissolves the awkwardness and discomfort like humour. And what can be more relaxing? Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t take this task of asking for a referral too seriously too. When you create a relaxed, obligation-free environment for a person you are speaking to they will respond with gratitude.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So ask ?