Have you seen the cocktail list at Claridge’s?
This question was asked of me during a wild night out in London.
In a Mayfair pub which I’d got to minutes after Madonna and Guy Ritchie had been there.
(This story is so 2004.)
I never acted on the recommendation. And I regret it to this day.
Perhaps you’ve been and you can tell me…
Referrals are all about context, a chance conversation with someone who mentions a need. Or has a cocktail-hungry look in their eye.
So what do you do about referrals, when there’s no context?
Or even when there is?
Lots of advisers don’t like the idea of asking for referrals as, understandably, it seems pushy or desperate.
But think for a moment about when the shoe is on the other foot 🦶🏻. How does it feel when you recommend something or someone – whether cocktails or accountants?
Last summer I recommended my electrician to my neighbours and now I’m the belle of the ball. People doff their caps to me in the street. Well, not quite, but I can tell I’ve helped them out because I still see Marius popping in and out of peoples’ houses 6 months later with his wires and cables.
All I did was text a few people his number.
Recommending good, trustworthy people is a gift because everyone knows how hard it is to find these people. So let others do that for you.
One way to ask them is not to ask them. Instead, talk about how busy you’ve been this month thanks to so many kind referrals from clients, and what it means to you to receive them. Mention the work you’ve done for them.
You’ve painted a picture of a thriving business, not a desperate one scraping about for leads.
You’ve also explained this is how you get a lot of your business – many clients may not know that.
You could do this by waiting for it to come up naturally in conversation. But a better way would be to tell them in an email newsletter.
This is the kind of place where you can communicate a multitude of things – requests, boasts and embarrassments – much more easily (and on a far bigger scale) than face to face.
A bit like this one 😊