10 Reasons Why Your Clients are Afraid to Refer Their Friends
In an ideal situation referrals coming from your clients should cause your business to thrive and prosper. If that is not happening then you need to find out what you are missing. In order to remedy the situation you need to know what is causing it. It can be awkward to go to clients and ask them outright why they aren’t making referrals to you. So let’s look as some of the reasons they may be afraid to send friends and family your way. See if any of these ideas resonate with you.
- Did you think to ask? Suppose you did decide to ask you clients why they aren’t referring people to you and one of the most common answers were, “You didn’t ask me too!” It’s an obvious statement, and hopefully it is not true, but just in case it is, make sure you find a suitable way to ask your clients for referrals.
- Be sure you are providing the quality your customers are seeking. Sometimes good enough is indeed good enough. But that won’t necessarily get you referrals. Even before you mention referrals to your customers check in with them to see how they are feeling about your product or service. Are there things you can do better? Are there improvements to be made? Keep in mind there is always room for improvement! Provide high quality goods and services so your clients will want to make referrals
- You messed up. Let’s be honest. Have customers sent referrals to you in the past and you failed to follow up with them? This could be a major reason why they are afraid to send friends to you now. If you have a track record of not contacting referrals in a timely manner, it could be your flow dried up as a result.
- You have to cultivate a relationship. Are you putting out information like a news machine and looking for returns? In order to get customers to make referrals, you need to give them a reason to do that. Work on your relationships with customers and as that grows, so will your referrals.
- It may be too soon. Your clients need to get to know you before they can recommend you to others they care about. If it is early in the relationship, the level of trust may not yet warrant a referral to friends. Be patient and always put your best foot forward. Give the relationship time to mature.
- How are you asking the question? One of the least helpful ways to ask for referrals is, “Do you know of anyone who could benefit from my services?” Yet, this is one of the most common ways people ask. Find your unique way of asking and be specific. There are things you do very well or there are specific areas of expertise that could be highlighted. Capitalize on those specifics.
- Are you taking your clients for granted? This goes back to the relationship issue. Do your clients feel your gratitude or do they feel like one of a pile of people in the mill? People like to feel special; they like to be thanked for the nice things they do. Never take for granted the people your serve. Be sure to show your gratitude and let them know they are appreciated.
- Check the trust level. If your clients don’t have complete trust in you, they will not be inclined to send others your way. If you are dependable, you keep your word and do what you say you are going to do when you said you are going to do it. If clients have to chase you down or constantly check on the progress of the project, chances are you need to step up your game and start building trust.
- Goal setting is key. Are you setting goals pertaining to referrals? A quote attributed to Ben Franklin goes, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Set goals around referrals; develop a strategy to create an environment conducive to getting the referrals you want.
- Are you benefiting your clients? This is a two-way street you are navigating. People enjoy doing business with friends and people they trust. They also like getting something for their effort. Go above and beyond for your clients and you will reap the rewards. In addition to providing outstanding service or products, when you shoot the breeze with them, give them information they can use. Share ideas or resources which will benefit them. Then you’ll see an increase in referrals.
Give your customers good reasons to tell family and friends about your business. It takes a little time on your part, but the benefits are definitely worth it.