There’s a ton of literature on how to get referrals and even the hype headlines of:
“How to get referrals without asking for them”
Here’s the punch line to that one:
Ya gotta do good work.
What a concept.
The one key thought not usually discussed around referrals is elevating your clients to different stages of engagement.
Depending on how you nurture clients (communities, email/sms, ongoing calls, async updates, client events or appreciation days) your clients will fall into 1 of 3 camps.
Your clients are either:
- Passive: only consume and have little to no engagement
- Active: consume and actively engage or contribute to the product or community
- Fan/Leader: refer/share your product or services, step up and volunteer to support others in the community, and will probably buy anything you put out to the marketplace
*Note: in the real world clients are not cookie cutter, and fit perfectly into 1 of the 3. They may show signs of being passive but actively promote you. Use your discretion and identify where you think your clients are based on their latest behavior.*
A client of mine runs a community within a very tight and exclusive niche. A member whose life has been changed by the community doesn’t stop talking about the community. They actively refer strangers but the client doesn’t control that.
So to generate referrals on demand, they’re segmenting their fans and asking them (only if they raise their hand that they are a fan) for referrals.
Your product/service delivery should aim at turning clients from passive into active (because they’re seeing results or getting the outcomes they want) and by focusing on client lifetime value, you can elevate your clients to becoming a fan of you and your brand.
Focus on getting referrals from fans. Fans give amazing referrals.