Getting a Free Ride

How To Generate Word of Mouth Advertising and Referral Business

People like to refer business to you.

When we ask business owners how they find most of their clients, the answer is most times, “through word-of-mouth”.

That is, clients and customers who refer new clients them are responsible for the largest portion of their new business.

Now that’s both the GREAT and the BAD news about word-of-mouth!

It’s great because it means you are doing a good job. People like you and what you do, and they talk to other people about you.

It’s bad because it means you are being passive with your marketing, you’re just waiting for referrals to come in.

Even though a lot of business come in this way, very few business have deliberate strategies to increase word-of-mouth business! But isn’t word-of-mouth meant to be something that just happens?

Well, if it’s one of the most important sources of new business for you, doesn’t it make sense to encourage and cultivate it?

If you have a SYSTEM in place to get referrals you’ll get many benefits, including a constant supply of new clients, increased quality of your clients, increased profits, and stronger relationships.

You need to continuously inform and educate your customers and clients as to why they should be doing business with you – when they understand this they’ll also be better able to educate their referrals.

Here are a couple of strategies you can use.

Strategy #1 – Ask for Referrals!

Most business owners and staff don’t even ask for referrals. But why not? It’s the simplest thing in the world!

First of all, time it right. Do it when they’re very happy with what you’ve done for them.

Secondly, have a script ready. Know what to say and how to say it.

Put your customers and referrals ahead of yourself. For instance, your script could be “I’m really glad you’re happy with the service you’ve received. Do you have a friend or a colleague who would like to receive the same service?”

Tell people how to refer people to you. Don’t say “ask them to give us a call”. Instead, say “if you know anyone who needs my services, give me a call first and we can discuss if I can help them and the best way to approach them.”

Strategy #2 – Reward your referrals!

If you reward your referrals your customer will be very pleased and often will continue to refer even more clients.

It doesn’t need to be cash, often a thoughtful gift might be appropriate. For instance, if you’re an accountant, why not reward a client referral by paying for a meal for 2 in a decent restaurant?

If you’re a therapist, maybe give your client a skin-care lotion for sun protection, perhaps? Or an estate agent might send a basket of fruit and flowers or wine?

The worst thing you can do is to ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen – the person referring you will be very put out and not bother doing it again, potentially losing you a lot of business. At the very least, say a big ‘THANKS’!

Strategy #3 – Expect referrals!

For many service businesses you can train your customers and clients to understand that referrals are expected. For instance, the first time you see them, tell your new clients that you add so much value that you’d like them to refer 3 new clients to you within the first 30 days.

Strategy #4 – Pass out referral cards!

Create a small card, maybe 3×8 in size, showing what you offer. Give each of your customers and clients at least 10 of these and ask for them to be passed around to their friends or business associates. Have a clear sales message with a specific offer printed on the cards.

Some of these strategies can seem scary, but they can be implemented in a very friendly, natural way. For help to formulate your own strategies, call us on 902 789 660. Also see our advert on this page, and visit the website to get 7 more strategies!

Next week: How To Put Lead Generation on Steroids!

For more information call Jennie on 902 789 660 or visit

If you’d like help making more money in your business, then you should contact us right away. Contact Us to get started, or go to Services for more information about what we offer…

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