Generate Referrals - Persuasive Prose

Generate Referrals

Why are referrals so powerful?


New clients that come through referral are easier to deal with, negotiate less and buy more.

It’s proven by research:

  • Harvard Business Review study found that referred customers have a 16% higher life-time value
  • In the same study, the churn rate of referred customers was found to be about 18 % lower than other customers
  • According to, 53% of all Internet users have visited websites referred by friends or family in the previous 30 days
  • A study from Lightspeed Research found that recommendation from family and friends was the number one trusted source of information driving purchase decisions


Why are referred clients the the best new clients?

Because you benefit from a transfer of trust. The trust that exists between your customer and the person they care about. You are in effect leveraging their goodwill.

And according to BuzzReferrals, 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer products and services. But only 29% actually do.

That means you are probably not getting all the referrals you deserve!

In order to generate referrals consistently, you need to know some ground rules…


 Referral basics 101


Be the best they’ve ever had.

Offer your customers the utmost care, respect, goodwill and guidance. Second rate service just won’t cut it. You really need to come up with the goods, and give them all the benefits and advantages they deserve.

In short, you should be delivering unmatched value that blows away your competitors!

Already doing that? Great…

But your customers need to believe it too.

It’s your job to educate clients to the wonderful benefit you are having on their lives. Don’t forget to regularly demonstrate and prove the value they are receiving (remember all the ways to prove it).

Once your customers truly understand and value the role you play in their lives, then the game changes. Then, it is only natural for them to want to introduce you to the people they care about.

After all, it would be…


Their moral obligation!


This is the story of Jim the plumber.

Jim offers excellent quality work, with honest pricing and great communication. He finishes jobs to agreed deadlines. He goes out of his way to comfort, reassure and explain his work. Through providing this level of service, Jim has developed great relationships with his customers. They trust Jim and they know he will always act in their best interests.

Now we have Kate, one of Jim’s satisfied customers. Kate’s brother is remodelling his home, and needs a plumber to finish the job.

Now what will Kate do? Let her brother find a plumber on his own – and possibly get ripped off, have the job done at sub-par quality, or over deadline? Or introduce her brother to Jim (who she knows will look after him and do a great job).

The choice is simple…

But what if Kate doesn’t know Jim is looking for referrals?

What if… by chance, she thinks Jim would be too busy to take on new clients? Then there’s every possibility that Kate will become one of the 71% of people who don’t bother to refer.

Generating referrals can’t be left to chance. They need to be actively and regularly pursued as part of your day-to-day marketing plan.


3 steps to creating referral systems in your business:

  • 1. Educate your clients so they value the service you provide
  • 2. Express how much you would appreciate a referral
  • 3. Make it easy for them to refer their loved ones


So let’s look at how to do it for your business…

Practical Exercise

You might think referrals are the domain of professional services, but nothing could be further from the truth!


To begin implementing your first referral system, start by testing small:

  • Look at your customer list and identify your best customers
  • Start with small scale tests to a portion of these customers
  • Trial multiple formats to identify the highest converting offer
  • Once you've proven it successful, roll out to the rest of your customers


Remember, to ask for a referral you must:

  • Position yourself and your service as valuable
  • Explain that your business is built through referral
  • Convey that you will look after your customer's referrals
  • Promise that even if they don't buy/join/subscribe, you will give them valuable assistance
  • Give them logical and emotional reasons to refer their friends
  • Try incentives to encourage referrals
  • Thank your customers for referring you their friends

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