The 3 best times to ask clients for referrals


Before you lose your lunch, keep in mind that “asking” doesn’t necessarily mean you speaking to the client.

Asking could mean having a member of your staff speaking to the client. It could mean handing the client a a few referral cards to pass out. It could mean describing—on your blog or in your newsletter—an interesting case you’re handling and mentioning that another client referred it to you.

It’s all good. But what’s the best time to do it?

The most obvious time is at the end of the case or engagement. You’re wrapping things up, the client is happy, you’re talking about the future, so you ask who they know who might want some information about what you do.

Less obvious, but also a great time to talk about referrals is at the start of the case.

When you’re signing up the client, ask them to provide the names of the other professionals they work with. Or hand them some invitations to your upcoming presentation they can give to their friends. Or give them a link to a page on your site with a form or checklist or valuable information and encourage them to share that page with people they know.

The third time to talk about referrals is “anytime” during the pendency of the case or engagement.

You might say to the client, “I hope you’re seeing value in the work we’ve done for you so far. Are there any other matters you’d like us to look at/help you with?“

That’s not difficult, is it?

If they don’t have any other work for you, put on your big boy or girl pants and ask, “Do you know anyone you could refer to us who might need these services?”

They might say no. But they might say yes. One out of two ain’t bad.

Am I saying you can ask for referrals at almost any time? It sure sounds like it.

Clients want to help the people they know, and they want to help you. Make it easy for them to do that and everyone wins.

How to get more referrals from clients