How to Ask Your Clients for a Referral
The best time to ask for a referral from your clients is when you’re working with them on a transaction. You’ve likely heard Brian Buffini and I say that frequently throughout the last two decades. Your current clients are the best advocates for your business. Think about it: They’re excited about closing on their home purchase or sale and are talking about with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances. Additionally, everyone is asking your clients about their experience—how it’s going, when do they get to move in, etc. Since you’re also in frequent contact with your clients on the phone or via text or email you have many opportunities to ask for referrals.
However, many agents are nervous about asking for a referral because they don’t want to seem pushy. They assume that their clients will automatically refer them so they don’t ask. Don’t assume your clients know to refer you; like everyone at one point or another, they need a reminder.
We developed the Referral Dialogue to make it easier for agents to ask for a referral. It makes the asking part feel more natural so you don’t feel like you’re being pushy. The beauty of the Referral Dialogue is it explains how you’re different from your competition, the concept of working by referral, and why their referrals help drive your business.
First, you’ll educate your client about how the traditional real estate business works:
“Most people spend the majority of their time and resources prospecting for new business—things like cold calling, door knocking, advertising, etc.”
Then, you’ll explain how you work:
“I don’t do any of that. I devote myself to serving the needs of my clients before, during and after each transaction. All I ask is that while I’m working for you, I would like you to refer me to people of comparable quality to yourself, who are thinking of the type of service I provide, and who would appreciate this same level of attention.”
Finally, you’ll explain how working by referral benefits them as clients:
“You see, as long as you and my other clients keep referring me, I don’t have to go out prospecting like everyone else and I can do an even better job working for you. Does that make sense?”
Practice this dialogue often so you can refer to it whenever you speak to your clients, especially early on in your relationship with them.
It also helps to gently remind them to refer you at the end of your communications with them, whether it’s written at the end of an email or at the bottom of the cover letter that you send with your flyer or you say it before you hang up. Use this dialogue to remind your clients to refer you:
Oh, by the way®… if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me with their name and business number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.
We’re a week into the Blitz: Summertime Surge, the 45-day lead generation program intended to help you generate more leads within a short period of time. You’ll tap into the natural rhythm of the market to get face-to-face with your past and current clients and ask for referrals. If you’re not participating in the Blitz, what are you waiting for? Sign up today and get the tools to reconnect with clients and encourage them to refer you.