How to Get More Clients From Referrals
One of the most valuable ways to get clients and create a sustainable business is to leverage referrals. What do I mean by this?
A referral is when someone tells their friends, family or co-workers about you and the service you offer. It is an opening to a potential conversation or sample session. It’s one of the best marketing sources for long-term growth of your business because it relies on goodwill and relationship. It costs you nothing; I bet you can’t find another marketing strategy that so costs so little!
As a small business owner, you have more than one role. You are both a coach and an entrepreneur. When you’re coaching, it’s your responsibility to be the best coach you can be to your clients. But, when you are being the entrepreneur, it’s time for you to decide what kind of customer service to deliver. Clients who are treated well, feel valued and respected will be loyal.
How do you provide value over and above your coaching? Ask yourself, do my clients know how important they are? How do I show them they matter to both me and my business?
Here are some ways you can amp up your customer service:
- Send out regular newsletters with helpful information.
- Send an occasional personal note to each client just to touch base or share something you thought they might enjoy.
- Recognize their birthday.
- Recognize a major achievement. For example, you could snail mail a card when they reach a goal they’ve eagerly worked towards.
Who do you ask for referrals?
People who you’ve coached are the perfect source because they’ve already experienced the benefit of working with you. This can be existing clients, past clients, and even people who have had a mini (or sample) session
Periodically, tell your current clients you are looking to expand your business. Tell them you have a few slots open that you are looking to fill with people, like them, who are motivated to improve the quality of their life, reach dream goals and overcome issues.
Remind them, all coaching is completely confidential, and nothing discussed during any session is ever revealed once the call is complete.
Let them know you are looking for people who might be interested in having a sample session. Let your existing client know that a sample session gives a potential client an immediate understanding of what coaching is and how it can help them. Once the sample session is complete, they can decide if they would like to work with you. At the same time, you as the coach can decide if this is a person is someone you feel you can support through coaching.
Include a call for referrals in your regular client newsletter which you send to your mailing list. Your mailing list will include current and past clients, as well as people who have shown an interest in working together at some point in the future.
You don’t have to send something every week. Monthly or quarterly newsletters are both good options until you become comfortable writing and publishing content.
Ask for referrals twice in your newsletter. First, mention it in the body of the newsletter and then add it as a PS>. This approach will capture the attention of people who are skimming your newsletter and may have skipped down to the end.
How do you ask for a referral?
Use the question: Who do you know that would benefit from coaching?
Notice how specific this wording is. The question is not “do you know anyone?” which could easily prompt a quick yes or no answer before they’ve taken time to reflect.
The phrase “Who do you know…” prompts them to pause and think of the people in their circle of influence who might find coaching beneficial.
The most important step is to actually ask for the referral.
It’s easy to focus on fancy marketing strategies and forget the impact a satisfied client can have. Engage their help, if they are pleased with the results they will be happy to help fill your appointment calendar. Make a note in your calendar to remind yourself to ask for referrals from time to time. It takes a bit of effort to remember, but the benefits will pay off.
So now it’s your turn. What other questions do you have about being a successful coach? Send me an email at email@example.com I’d love to hear from you, I read every single email I get, and maybe I’ll answer your question in one of my blogs.