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The Etiquette of Referrals: 6 Tips to Make it Work for You!

The Etiquette of Referrals: 6 Tips to Make it Work for You!

My good friend and tennis partner, Nancy, volleyed over a great question last week: What’s the etiquette of referrals? Great question! So, please allow me to serve up some answers and a few recommendations.

Here are 6 tips To Make it Work for You!

1. Never Forget the Power of a Thank You If you want to grow your business and get word-of-mouth referrals, never forget the “thank you” to those who have trusted you with a recommended client or customer. Virtually all of us feel underappreciated, and I have yet to meet someone who feels over-thanked. I remember the brouhaha from a few years back with NFL player Terrell Owens who was feeling underappreciated even though he was making over $22 million a year.A simple #thank you is worth more than a million dollars. Click To Tweet

2. It Must Be Immediate— Of course, a thank you will work, but it must be immediate. A thank you card, note, email or token is wasted if it occurs more than one week after the referral.

3. Forget About the Hallmark Card— Mushy or cute cards are great for your BFF’s birthday, but they have no place in the business world. Instead, I recommend a custom-created card or even a simple card with your logo on the front that can be gang printed with your stationery and business cards.

4. You Must Have a System— It doesn’t need to be complicated, but have a turnkey “thank you” system in place. If you have just hung up with a prospect who was referred to you by a current client, immediately start writing your thank you card and getting it in the mail. I have handmade cards and $10 gift cards stacked in my drawer ready to go. If your system isn’t turnkey, it will not happen!You need to have a system in place for thanking the people who give you referrals. Click To Tweet

5. Develop a Ladder of Thanks— In other words, it is certainly appropriate to thank more generously the established clients who refer you to 10 new clients per year, versus the customers who have only referred you one. At Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or even Thanksgiving, make sure you acknowledge everyone appropriately.

6. Ahhh, The Finder’s Fee— I do not participate in this type of this system because I never want my clients to believe that I have made a referral based upon my remuneration vs. the good of the client (I do, however, accept chocolate!). However, if you do participate in this arrangement, I think it muddies the waters. As the FTC consistently reminds bloggers that they should alert readers of having received compensation for a positive view, it bares considering that your clients should also receive notice that you are receiving compensation (a.k.a. “kickback”).

Remember, the bottom line is that you need to be worthy of a referral and follow up accordingly.Every complaint is an opportunity for a #referral! Click To Tweet

To your sizzling success,


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