How To Ask For Referrals In a Way That Gets Clients To Send You Everyone They Know

Posted on October 26, 2015

Ryan Stewman



We’re constantly told to ask for referrals. Referrals are the lifeblood of many of our businesses. Referrals are free, come already programmed by third party social proof and are generally easy to close. Matter of fact, most referrals are straight up lay down sales. Yet, so many salespeople drop the ball when it comes to asking their clients to send them more clients.

Why are So Many Salespeople Afraid to Ask for Referrals?

Let’s be honest, if you’re reading this you’re most likely an above average salesman. That means you’ve seen the average and below average salesmen screw up deals in ways you could have never imagined. If we’re above average, that means there are a lot of people who have a skill set subpar to ours. Those people don’t feel very confident about their abilities and screw up sales. This makes them afraid to ask for referrals because when the client says “No,” they are then faced with the reality of how bad the job they did was.

Another reason salespeople drop the ball when it comes to referrals is due to insecurity. The average salesperson gets surprised and excited when they make a sale. Oftentimes, after it’s closed, they can’t believe they made a sale. It’s a lot for the mediocre to handle. They don’t want to blow their high by asking for a referral and being told, “No.”

The key to getting referrals from happy clients is knowing exactly how to ask for referrals. If you’ve done a good job for your customer, it’s only logical you’ll offer to do a good job for their sphere of influence. Still many salespeople leave money on the table every day by not asking.

Ask for Referrals Like They Owe Them to You

What’s even crazier is that referrals are the easiest leads to get. It’s all about positioning your prospect to send you referrals from the beginning of the process. It all starts with the service. If you treat the client you have like gold, they will have no problem sending their friends to you to be treated like gold, too. Think about it. It makes them look good if they send you referrals and their friends think you’re as awesome as they do.

Start the sales process out by treating the prospect like gold. Be available, knowledgeable and the expert solution provider to their problem. Treat them like the dollar sign they represent. By doing this, they will already be thinking of friends and people they know who’d enjoy your service like they are.

By doing your job to the best of your ability, they will already start the referral process internally. When you close them and ask for referrals, they’ll have already thought about who they can send you. If a prospect feels you’re the expert and the best they’ve ever seen at what you do, they will have no problem sending everyone they know to you.

Knowing the Right Time to Ask for Referrals is Crucial

You’ve got to pump clients for referrals when they are on cloud nine. Right after they are happy with the buying decision they just made with you, that’s when you ask if they have any friends you can make as happy as they are right now. They’ll let you know exactly who they know who would love the same outcome.

I’ve been the referral king in every industry I’ve worked in. Cars, homes, loans, consulting and car washing, it didn’t matter where I worked. I worked for referrals. I’ve always had a pretty easy-to-follow system for asking for referrals. Even the script is super simple to memorize. Don’t ever knock simplicity. The simpler something is, the better it will work.

Here’s the Process I Use So My Clients Will Send Me Everyone They Know

First off, when the sale begins, I prep them up front. Early on in the sales conversation, I simply say with 100 percent confidence:

“I’m here to help you end your search and make an informed buying decision today. I’m on your team and gonna treat you better than you’ve been treated at any similar place before. Know why? Because I don’t just want to make you happy, I want to make everyone you know happy. You’ll see how much I care as we go through the process.”

Looking someone in the eye and telling them you’re gonna do the best job for them they’ve ever seen is powerful. Most people are not bold enough to make this claim. But when you follow through on it, it further sinks in with them how good you really are.

Second, I after I close the sale and they are ecstatic with their decision, I hit them in the heat of the moment with this:

“Earlier, I told you I was going to do the best job for you that you’ve ever seen. Did I exceed your expectations? Great, I work on referrals. Wouldn’t you like your friends and family to be as happy as you are right now when they need this product? Simply take two minutes to write down three recommendations and introductions you can make for me and I’ll treat them exactly like I’ve treated you.”

Positioning your words in the manner of the above word track will set them up to send you people because A: they are happy; B: they have confidence in you to not screw their friends over. You’ve just become their go-to guy for whatever it is you sell.

Referrals are horizontal lead sources. Each referral can lead to 3-10 more referrals and so on and so on. Becoming an expert at asking for referrals will make you rich. Effectively generating leads from referrals is a long lost art in sales these days. Most salespeople even forget to ask for referrals from Internet leads.

If You Work Referrals Hard Enough, You’ll Never Have to Buy Leads.

If you’re ready to invest in your personal success and you’d like to find out about the programs we have developed especially for you, simply head over to and we’ll have a sales conversation about your future.


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