Research shows that customers who come to you through a referral are up to 25% more likely to stick around for a long time. But getting started asking for referrals can be overwhelming, so we’ve come up with a few ways to make it a little easier for you.

Ask Your Current Clients to Send You Referrals

Your clients know better than anyone the value you have to offer. They know firsthand how much you invest in a quality product and a great customer service, and how much you respect their time and budget.

When they tell you how much you help them, ask them to send you referrals. But do that also when they say they no longer need you. Tell them you have an opening, and you’d love to work with another awesome client like them.

Integrate Yourself in a Community that Can Send You Referrals

Attending industry meetups can help you get to know local professionals in your industry and start building personal relationships, that could ultimately lead to referrals. Conferences allow you to do that with professionals from other locations. Sometimes you can even connect with people from around the world.

But in your day to day, you can do all that from the comfort of your home or office, by participating in discussions on relevant LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Don’t pitch your services there. Just focus on starting discussions that can benefit everyone, and taking time to leave thoughtful comments on others’ threads. Soon enough, you’ll be the one on everyone’s minds when it’ll be time to make a referral.

When choosing which offline and online communities to participate in, don’t just consider communities for people in your profession. If you’re a family lawyer, don’t just hang out with lawyers. Join groups and message boards where people go to consult with others in their situation about custody agreements during divorce and prenups for blended families. blog ad v4 referral testimonial

Develop One on One Relationships to Get Hot Referrals

Group settings are a great way to be exposed to a large number of people at once. But as you integrate yourself in communities, pay attention to other individuals there. Notice who participates the most, who is most committed to helping other community members, who leaves the most thoughtful comments or shares the most out of the box thoughts.

Notice who engages most with what you share in the groups, and who you feel like you would like to keep talking to beyond the group or conference setting.

Don’t ask these people for referrals. Not yet, anyway. Focus on building authentic business relationships, maybe even friendships, with interesting people in your industry. The hottest referrals will come to you when they learn to get to know you, like you and trust you.

Give Referrals to Other People

When you own a business, it’s important to put yourself out there and pitch your services. No one else is going to do that for you. But at the end of the day, people are so used to getting pitched, that they tune it out.

Therefore, whenever possible, think of what you can give instead of what you can receive. Whenever possible, be the one to connect others and send quality referrals to them. They’ll be grateful and, with time, when the opportunity arises, they’ll send you quality referrals in return.