Referral is not a dirty word.

I’ve worked with many clients who feel that asking their clients for a referral is icky. “I’m not comfortable asking people to refer my services. I feel like I need a shower after I ask.”

What’s wrong with this line of questioning?

Me: Do you feel I’ve helped you in any way?

Client: Yes. You’ve helped our business grow in many ways.

Me: Can you tell me how I have helped you the most?

Client: You taught me to reduce the size of my target market and helped me build a powerful mailing list.

Me: Do you know anyone else who needs help building a good email list?

When I ask for a referral, I want to tie-in my request to something my client has experienced. I’m not looking for a character reference. A business referral is a testament to completed work with noted results. An introduction by referral is a statement of fact. It should never be exaggerated or falsified.

I think it is easier to give a referral than a reference. When I give someone a reference, I must use judgment to share relevant information about employability. There are many legal Human Resources guidelines about what I can and cannot say in a reference.

Referrals drip in truthful statements of the cause and effect of working with me or my company.

“We were here before he started working with us. This is how we are better.” Just the facts.

Referrals are only dirty when full of puffery and bogus claims.

If this truth settles into your spirit, you shouldn’t be concerned with asking for referrals. It should become a sustaining resource for your business or ministry. But it is quite rare to receive a referral without requesting it. If you consistently deliver what you promise, there is no reason to fear a request for referrals.

“Who else do you know who needs my help?”



P.S. I always want to practice and demonstrate what I preach. Would you bless me with a referral to my newsletter? Recipients will receive marketing content, like this blog post, that will support their business. If you receive value from this post would you send me one name and email address for someone who would benefit from reading the Greenelines newsletter? (Please tell them you have referred them to me. Anyone can opt out of the newsletter at any time.)

Please use the form below to submit your referral. They will receive next week’s newsletter. Thanks for caring for your friend and for the growth of the Greenlines marketing newsletter.




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