My Pinnacle Network Founder Steve Dubin was recently one of 65 contributors to an article entitled 65 Tips for Getting Business Referrals. Steve is number 58. While 65 people contributed, an interesting footnote is how many of those individuals offered essentially the same advice, namely: Ask for the referral.

How many of you will ask satisfied customers for a referral? Probably an even more appropriate question is “how do you ask for that referral?”

It’s nice and neat to include a note in an e-mail asking for a referral. But think of how many times you have seen a similar line in an e-mail or perhaps an autoresponder after buying a product or service. Did you send a lead or referral?

Now, think about a time when you asked a happy and satisfied client/ customer for a lead or referral. Or, if you haven’t, has somebody ever asked you for one? What was your response? Did you follow up with a referral? Or, at the very least, did you try? There’s nothing wrong with asking by e-mail for a referral. But I’m willing to bet you get more results by asking in person.

Of course, the big part of asking for a referral is having a happy and satisfied client or customer. That means: 1. Being good at what you do; 2. Offering exceptional service and; 3. Doing both for that particular customer. You really do need to be certain that you have delivered for a customer or client before asking for that referral. Your opinion and theirs could differ and that could lead to some awkwardness.

What if you’re unsure?

Usually you know but there certainly is a chance that their expectations will be higher than yours. A litmus test could be asking for a testimonial. Again, something to better ask for in person or over the phone. If they balk or hesitate, you may have your answer. If they say “sure, love to” then you have your green light to take it up a notch and ask for a referral.

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