Six new ways to ask for client referrals

by Rakhee Ghelani April 20, 2016

It’s not always easy to ask someone for a referral. Here, we show you how to make asking for referrals a habit.

Ask and you shall receive. It sounds so simple, but when it comes to asking for referrals it isn’t always so straightforward. Here are some handy tips for helping the process feel more normal.

  1. Wrap it up in gift

Even if you’re good at what you do, it doesn’t necessarily mean that others will readily recommend you. But you can show them how valuable you are, and build their trust in you, by giving them something that is relevant to them. For example, you could create a guide for lawyers, accountants or financial planners on the process for obtaining a residential home loan through a mortgage broker. This will not only leverage your expertise, but is also something clients will find useful and provides a handy prompt for a referral.

  1. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great, and non-confrontational, way to ask for referrals. In fact it’s a feature that’s built directly into the site, and you’ll find most people are willing to help you out. First you need to research your prospects – search for people, narrowing in on job titles, industries and keywords. You can see on the left-hand side of an individual’s profile which member of your network is connected to them, and then it’s as simple as clicking on your connection and selecting “Request an intro”. This will allow you to send a personalised message to your contact asking them to introduce you.

  1. Make referrals easy

Everyone is busy, so if you’re asking someone to provide you with regular referrals why not make it easy for them? Give them a cheat sheet on your areas of expertise and outline who your ideal customers are – you can even provide them with an email template that they can just send off to make the referral. After all, the simpler it is for someone to refer to you, the more likely they are to do it. Remember to set up any referrer in accordance with regulatory requirements.

  1. Get feedback

Build trust with your referral networks by asking them for feedback. With online tools such as SurveyMonkey, you can quickly set up a short satisfaction survey asking them about what they like about your services and what you could do better. Once you’ve collected the survey results, be sure to action it, demonstrating that you listen and are open-minded.

  1. Use your newsletters

You may already send out a regular newsletter to update clients, other businesses and prospects on what’s been happening in the industry, but you can turn that into a referral as well. Using a tool, such as the Forward to a Friend tool in MailChimp, your readers can easily pass on your newsletter to anyone else they know who may find it useful – and presto, you’ve been referred!

  1. Make it personal

While it’s important to create a large funnel with broad lead-generation activities, quality leads may respond better to a more personal touch. If a friend has mentioned that they know someone who needs a mortgage broker but they aren’t comfortable referring them directly, why not suggest they invite them along to an event with you? It could be something as casual as a drink after work or a more formal dinner. The setting takes away the formality of the situation and by inviting their friend you’re receiving an indirect endorsement, which should also endear you to your prospect.

Referrals are a great way to generate new leads and build your business. With these helpful tips you can build your referral pipeline and spend more time converting those quality leads into valued customers.

Rakhee Ghelani

Rakhee Ghelani Linked in

Rakhee Ghelani is a freelance writer who also has nearly 20 years’ international experience developing and implementing strategic initiatives for some of Australia’s largest brands in banking, manufacturing and professional services. She has travelled to over 50 countries and has been published internationally.

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