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How to Motivate Clients to Refer You to Their Friends

We believe if you help enough people, you don’t have to worry about money. That’s because happy customers keep coming back. And really happy customers jump at the chance to help your business grow.

So why does it seem like you keep waiting for client referrals that never come? Perhaps it’s because you haven’t asked.

Asking clients for referrals can feel awkward and even a little selfish. And according to Advisor Impact’s Anatomy of a Referral study, it’s not always effective: Only 2% of respondents said they referred a friend because their advisor asked them to.

Of course, that doesn’t mean asking for client referrals is a waste of time. You just need to know the right way to do it. Here’s how.

1. Start With Service

In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie said, “The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage.”

That’s why it’s important to take every chance you get to serve customers well. You’d be amazed at how quickly word spreads when you give people the tools they need to make smart and confident decisions with their money. If a client can trust you to handle their affairs with excellence, they’ll be more likely to tell family and friends about you.

2. Don’t Just Ask—Educate

Want to know the number-one reason clients give referrals? To help a friend resolve a money problem. In fact, two-thirds of repeat referrers surveyed by Advisor Impact said encouraging referrals is really pretty simple. All you need to do is show them how you can help them help their friends.

So educate clients on the full range of problems you help folks solve every day, and highlight life events that might trigger the need for professional advice. That way clients will know a referral opportunity when they see it.

3. Offer Friendly Reminders

Remember the saying “Out of sight, out of mind”? Well, research shows reminders go a long way in spurring clients to send you business over and over again. 

If you’re worried you’ll sound like a broken record, don’t. Referral requests don’t have to dominate every conversation or even be a direct call to action. Include a reminder in your email signature or other correspondence. It can be as simple as mentioning that you’re always available to assist their friends.

4. Create Excitement

Who said referring friends has to be boring? Everybody loves a good party. So why not treat a select group of clients and their friends to a nice dinner or take them on a fun group outing? It’s a great way to show appreciation for your best customers while establishing new relationships.

If a client refers a friend, send a handwritten thank-you note with a gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee shop. Better yet, offer incentives that get clients pumped about sharing referrals on the front end. With a little creativity, you can make referrals fun for everyone involved!

Looking to serve more people and grow your business in a meaningful way? Learn how you can be part of the Endorsed Local Providers program—the most effective referral program in the country.

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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