Asking the Hard Question: ‘Will You Refer Me?’
August 22, 2012
Concerns around how to ask for a client recommendation can create barriers which feel difficult or uncomfortable to overcome. Keep in mind, that just as drafting is not an innate skill but rather a learned one that you perfect with practice, so too is asking for referrals: it’s a matter of finding the right tools and practice practice practice! We can show you how.
Before you launch a formal referral campaign, take inventory. Are your current clients satisfied with the overall quality of your work? How many of them return with repeat business? What processes do you currently have in place to prescribe and assess client engagement, and how effective are they? How do you generate client loyalty, and how is that loyalty measured?
Elevating your existing clientele from customers of your business to advocates and champions is a multi-step process. If you are a newbie to business ownership or are in the process of redesigning your client experience protocols, we’ve recommended two excellent resources to assist. Both of these articles outline important and effective strategies to help you deepen client relationships and build long-term success.
How and when do you ask for a referral from satisfied customers?
Inc.com answers these questions in How to Get Customer Referrals. There is a right and a wrong time to ask for a referral and understanding the ebb and flow of your business will help you assess when the timing works.
Similarly, Microsoft.com offers concrete, actionable strategies on building referral networks and framing “the ask” (product placement features prominently in the article, of course, however the advice is sound.) Click over to Are you Fearless When Asking for a Referral? to learn more.
Though never easy, the Business of Design is tremendously rewarding. We think adding these tools to your professional arsenal better prepares you to capitalize on what the marketplace has to offer.