Does asking for referrals make you uncomfortable?

Sent by Jonathan Stark on February 13th, 2019

A good referral is gold. For example, let’s say Alice asks Bob if he knows anyone who can help with her e-commerce website, and Bob replies with something like:

“Yes! You’ve got to talk to Carol. She’s price-y but our sales literally doubled in the first six months. Want an intro?”

Not only is Alice going to say, “Heck yeah, I want an intro!” but she’s also going to be expecting to pay a premium, and probably less likely to shop around for cheaper alternatives because Carol delivered results to someone Alice trusts.

A strong referral is probably the best way for prospects to be introduced to you. But what are you doing to encourage referrals? Anything? Probably not.

Most people don’t ask for referrals because they don’t know what to say or when to say it. It feels awkward, so it gets put off indefinitely.

Here’s a simple habit to get into that is first and foremost just a nice thing to do, but can also generate referrals as a side effect:

Share cool stuff with people.

You know when you’re going through your feeds catching up on what’s happening in your areas of interest? As you finish each article, I want you to do something simple, but powerful... Before you swipe to the next article, ask yourself:

“Who do I know who would find this interesting?”

Maybe at first, the answer is “nobody” most of the time. But in cases where you do think of someone, fire off a quick message that says:,“Hey Derek! Saw this article and thought you’d dig it...” with the link attached. If you want to go nuts, you can add a line about why you think it’s specifically relevant to them.

It doesn’t matter that Derek is not a potential client. He could be your brother-in-law, or your next door neighbor, or the owner of your favorite coffeeshop. As long as you have a killer XY Positioning Statement in your email signature, the referrals will eventually start to take care of themselves.

Yours,

—J