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4 Ways To Get More Referrals. Stop Begging for Them.

4 Ways To Get More Referrals. Stop Begging for Them.

100% of the people I speak ask me, “how to get more referrals in their business”. 100%.

It’s the golden ticket to sales.

But what actually is a referral, why does it matter so much and how can you get more word of mouth referrals in your business?  I’m going to answer those questions for you in this article.

[Matt Ward, an expert in how to get referrals, shared this insight as part of the Oracle NetSuite, 7 Minute Workshop video series watch Matt’s full interview.]

What are Referrals

First, let’s address what a referral is…and is NOT, then we’ll get to how to get more referrals.

A referral is someone who is ready, willing, and able to buy.

You want to do business in a way that nurtures relationships to the point where people are recommending your services and referring you to those types of people.

As a referral consultant, I’m asked all of the time, “How can I get more referrals?”.

The people who will give you referrals are people you have built a rapport with, the people you already have relationships with.

This means, people who you know, like, trust, and care about. Still, you may be asking yourself, “How do I find those people?” or, “How can I build those relationships?”

There are four simple pillars that you can use to get and keep your referrals flowing.

These four pillars of my referral process are over delivery, listening, surprise, and non-self-serving acts. Each and every one of these is just as important as the next and they intertwine together to make the perfect formula for receiving more referrals on a consistent basis.

Before I dig into each of them I want to be sure that I’m clear on what a referral is NOT.

When someone asks for a service provider on Facebook and someone you know tags you in that thread because you offer that service, that is NOT a referral. That is a lead, at best.

Now, if your friend contacts the person posting, has a conversation and asks if it’s ok to connect you, then does exactly that, that is a referral!  It’s highly qualified at that point and the contact is ready, willing and able to buy. That’s key!

Now to the pillars that produce referrals and getting people to talk more about your business.

Over Delivery

Keep in mind that this does not mean to underpromise and over-deliver.

This is exceeding client expectations in a way that sets yourself apart from the competition.

One of the ways to over-deliver is to not meet your deadlines but, meet them sooner than promised.

Say you have a project that will take you one week to complete.

Do not tell your customer you can do it in two and then complete it in one but rather, tell them it will take you the week and then challenge yourself to meet the deadline in less time.

This will not only impress your customer but you will have beat your personal best and probably have learned some useful things for the future. Another thing you can do to exceed expectations is to respond to your clients, FAST.

Responsiveness goes a long way with people, especially when it is not what they are used to. Again, you’re setting yourself apart. You are letting the client know that you care about them by going above and beyond the norm.

Stay service-focused and anticipate your client’s problems so you connect in a genuine way.


Active listening is when you take the time to show your client or contact that you are engaged in the conversation and listening attentively.

Listen with not only your ears but with your eyes.

Pay attention to the things that they are not saying.

This helps you get to know your client in a meaningful way.

Listening helps you build trust and connections while increasing your knowledge and understanding of your client’s problems and you avoid missing any important information.

What do you do when you can tell someone isn’t listening to you?

You probably feel as though you aren’t important and the person does not care about what you are saying or feeling, right?

Keep that in mind when engaging in conversation because what you’re trying to do is show that you care.

You are trying to build that trust and mutual respect so that you stand out on the top of their mind in the future. No one wants to refer someone who is not an active listener.


I define this as an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.

This gift needs to be about them, something that they like or would want.

If you have done step two correctly, you should have learned about your client’s or business associate’s likes and interests and have some idea of what gift would resonate well with them.

This will also reinforce in their mind that you were, in fact, listening to them and also that you care.

Furthermore, they will likely remember this, and you, for a long time and will help you to stay fresh in their minds when they come across someone that they can refer you to.

Think about the last time you received an unexpected gift from someone.

How did it make you feel? Did you feel cared for? The goal here is to leave a lasting impression and show your contact that you care, again, setting you apart from the typical people that they interact with daily.

Non-self-serving acts

These are the things you do for others that do not benefit or serve you in any way.

If you are good at performing random acts of kindness on a regular basis then this will come naturally.

So many times I see people doing nice things just so they can receive a favor in return or balance out their “good karma” but that is not the goal here.

If you are doing something nice for someone and have selfish intentions or motives then, trust me, the other person knows it.

When you do things for others for the sole purpose of benefiting yourself, it is easy for them to see right through that.

Remind yourself of the golden rule. Treat others how you would like to be treated and the payoff will come.


If you can get yourself into the habit of doing these things consistently when doing business then you won’t even need to think about it after a while and it will become second nature.

I cannot promise where your referrals will happen or how long it will take but following these rules will definitely help to show others that you care, and ultimately, build the trust required for getting referrals.

They will help you build longer-lasting relationships with those around you and they will keep you in mind when they are presented with an opportunity to send business your way. Have you missed an opportunity to send a gift or handwritten card?

Invest more time and energy into caring about others, upleveling your relationships.

That alone will stick out and you’ll see the benefits come back to you in spades.



Matt WardMatt Ward, Professional Speaker, Author, Word of Mouth Referral Consultant Looking for someone to help you get more referrals, or speak at your next event? Talk to Matt. Remember, watch Matt’s full interview in the OracleNetSuite  7 Minute Workshop video series.

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