Emily Kristofferson

How to Ask For and Get More Referrals

In a previous post, I talked about numbers that are important in your online business and one of those numbers is your conversion rate of sales conversations. How many people are you talking to about working together, and how many of those people decide to become paying clients? This number is obviously important as you need to be converting prospects into paying clients in order to get clients!

And I said that I have a high conversion rate on my sales conversations. It’s the reason that I was able to leave my secure job less than a year after starting my business, and to stay fully booked.


I can actually trace many clients through word of mouth referrals. Some clients have come from marketing, but it’s a totally different energy when someone comes onto a sales conversation and they’ve already spoken with someone else who has had a positive results/experience from working with me. Sometimes it is just discussing availability and logistics. Recently, I had a prospect basically just say how much and how could she pay me.

Getting referrals starts with delivering great results to the clients you have (I don’t care whether they are paying you or not). Getting results is what will get people talking and help the referrals to get flowing.

Focus on the results. Know and communicate the primary and secondary benefits in working with you.

To create momentum, ask yourself these questions…

What results do your clients gain from working with you?

How do these results impact my clients’ finances, health/well-being, relationships, family, future potential? Or what are the benefits of the results your clients gain?

On the flip side, brainstorm what it’s costing them to not achieve these results.

Your first or next client is likely going to be someone you already know or referred from someone you already know.

There is a sales and marketing concept of how cold or hot your prospect is. The warmer they are, the more likely they buy or become a client. Referrals are the hottest!

Think about it… Who are you more likely to buy from – a total stranger on the phone or someone recommended by a friend or colleague? That’s the power of referrals.

Referrals are absolutely the best way to attract plenty of clients. People love to refer good service providers to others and those people take their opinion seriously (if it is coming from a reputable source).

If your current or past clients are getting results, they will be more inclined to refer their friends and business colleagues to you. Word of mouth is a great way to receive positive referrals and it doesn’t cost anything more than what you should be giving them via your business.

You don’t need a technology tool for this. I actually think you could create a fantastic business around a strategy such as…

Be good at what you do and genuinely care about your clients.

Forget about finding or learning the latest and greatest tool. Too many entrepreneurs get caught up in shiny object syndrome, and all of those things could become irrelevant if you’re not mastering your craft. Wouldn’t you love to get known for how good you are at what you do?

What can you do better than anyone else? What are you so good at? Is this expressed in your business and in the work you do with clients? And how can you further express this?

Here are practical tips to get more referrals:

  1. Ask for them! When a client compliments your work, mention that you would love for them to spread the word, or ask if they know of anyone else who would benefit from your services. You could say something like, “I’m so pleased you’re happy with my work. Do you know anyone else who can benefit from my services?” The best way to get referrals is to ask for them. If that person is an ideal client, chances are good that they know other ideal clients.
  2. Educate your clients. Make sure your current clients know that you have openings and referrals are appreciated. Make sure they know all about your services.
  3. Provide an incentive. This could be a financial incentive such as a percentage of the new client’s first invoice or a set dollar amount. It could also be complimentary session(s) or a service for the person who referred.  It really depends on what you can afford and what feels right.
  4. Put it in writing. You may want to include a mention that you’re accepting referrals in your welcome packet or after certain steps (maybe after 3 months of working together).
  5. Thank them. A call or email or better yet a handwritten thank you note works. The important thing is to express your appreciation. You’ll also encourage additional referrals this way.

Which of these tips will you implement?

It’s all about taking action. Implement one of these tips and go to my Facebook group to let me know when you’ve done it. I’ll randomly choose one person on Friday, April 7th so you have the week to get this done. You can ask questions there too if you have them.

That one winner will receive a 45-minute private coaching and consulting session with me in which we’ll identify at least three more ideas (with clear actionable advice) to bring in clients over the next 90 days. Here’s to getting more referrals and filling your client roster!


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