How to get referrals without feeling “icky”

Asking for referrals can sometimes feel “icky”.

Here’s why.

You delivered something that helps your client do something better. In exchange, your client gave you money. So there’s a balance. You “gave” a thing that helps your client be more awesome. And in return you “got” money.

But when you ask for a referral, you’re “getting” without “giving”. So the balance becomes uneven which is why it can make your soul feel bad. It doesn’t feel good to be a taker.

To restore balance people offer incentives or discounts in exchange for referrals. But that can be icky too because it can feel like you’re bribing your client to “pimp out” their friends.

A referral approach that doesn’t feel icky

Instead, deposit more “giving credits” in the bank prior to asking for a referral.

This approach uses the Law of Reciprocity to create a desire in your clients to give back in order to rebalance the relationship.

Here are a seven ways you can deposit giving credits:

1. Surprise your client with more services than what they paid for

2. Introduce your client to people in your network that can help them be more awesome

3. Throw in an additional product

4. Extend the license term

5. Send a book that helps your client get smarter

6. Send a gift “just because”

7. Be fun and interesting (For example use Fiverr to send your client a Chainsaw birthday wish)

A non-icky email referral template

Now that you have a few giving credits in the bank, here’s a referral email template you can steal that doesn’t feel icky.

Download the “non-icky” referral email template

You can use this template immediately, but the most valuable thing about it. It’s the “why this works” section, that helps you understand the psychology of the emails effectiveness which will help you personalize it for your audience.



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