Your clients can be a great source of referral income. New clients that come to you through referrals will trust you more with their projects and are likely to pay you more because of that trust. If they like your work, they will be grateful to your client for sharing your name. So, how do you get referrals quickly and easily? Try following these tips…
Not every client is one you want to ask for referrals. You don’t want “Jason” who never pays his invoices on time and is a challenge client to recommend you to his network. You know the expression ‘birds of a feather flock together’? It’s usually true of clients.
It’s better to handpick a few clients you love working with and ask them for referrals. This makes it more likely you’ll get referral clients who treat you well and respect your work.
Skip the Group Email
An email request for referrals that you’ve sent to a dozen contacts is not likely to generate any new business for you. Clients read emails sent to multiple people and assume that someone else will make a referral.
But a personal request is more likely to get a response because your client feels responsible for answering your message. With a personal email, you can also remind your client about previous projects you’ve worked on. This can generate new work, even if they don’t have anyone to refer you to right now.
When it comes to your request, be careful how you word it so you aren’t asking for a referral to just anyone. You want the referrals to generate work from your ideal clients. A bad way to ask for a referral is to say: “Who do you know that could use a virtual assistant?”
Instead, phrase your question to focus on your ideal client. You could try something like, “Do you know one or two health coaches that could use a virtual assistant?” This ensures your referral clients will be the ones you enjoy serving.
Make It Simple
Your clients are busy and a request to ‘refer my services to your network’ is too vague. You want to give your clients a clear action step they can quickly follow through on. You can ask them to email a potential referral or reach out on social media.
Even better than asking a client to take a specific action is to do the work for them. For example, ask them to email someone who could use your help. Then create a form email your client can use. Now, your client just has to copy and paste your text into a new email. You’ve already done the hard work. All they have to do is add a personal greeting and hit ‘send’.
Optional: Mention an Incentive
Some virtual assistants have an affiliate program. If a client refers someone new to you, then you pay ‘thank you’ money to your existing client. But cash isn’t the only incentive you can offer. You can give something of equal monetary value, like a discount on future services or a free hour of your time in the next month.
This doesn’t mean you have to offer an incentive to your clients. But if you do have one, then make sure your client is aware of it.
If a client does make a referral, send a follow up message to thank them. If possible, try to make it a hand-written note and have it sent to your client’s office or home. You can even include a special treat or flowers if their referral resulted in a large amount of work for you.
Share Your Thoughts…
Have you asked your favorite clients for referrals? If not, what’s stopping you?
By the way, CoachGlue has a great package that will teach you how to get an abundance of client referrals. It even comes with PLR rights too! Check it out here.