#1 Way to Get Clients (HINT: it’s low-tech and cheap)

The #1 way that coaches and most other service professionals get client is… drum roll please… referrals!!!

Admittedly, referrals have an image problem.

Referral generation sounds downright dull compared to “ultimate digital content planner” and “master Facebook ads in 5 days” or “the underground playbook for building your company online”.

It’s easy to get distracted by shiny new promises, but consider this: to generate referrals, there is almost no cost to you (awesome!), the technology is limited to email and phone so there’s no learning curve (yay!), referrals are warm prospects so the sales process is easier (yes!), and those referred prospects generally invest in higher level packages (cha-ching!).

Did referrals get just a tad more attractive?


But there’s another problem…

Most people don’t know how to generate referrals intentionally. It seems like it’s a random thing, with no stability or consistency. So even though you KNOW referrals are great, knowing isn’t enough.

Luckily, it’s easier than you think to get referrals rolling in. Let me show you what I mean:

  • In 2015, I took a few consistent steps each month and generated dozens of referrals equaling tens of thousands of dollars.
  • In 2016, I got so busy with clients and speaking that I stopped taking those steps and generated… one referral. Ugh.
  • In 2017, I (my team, actually) started taking these steps again and am back to receiving referrals every single month.

To generate referrals consistently, there are really only 3 steps:

  1. Identify everyone who is in a position to refer you. Remember that not everyone crosses paths with your ideal client, so even though your mom or neighbor might think you’re great, if they never encounter your ideal client, they can’t give you referrals.

The key to making this step work: Only invest time nurturing referral relationships with people who are in a position to, and are willing to, refer you

  1. Ask these people for a referral to your ideal client.

The keys to making this step work: First… before you say, “But I don’t want to be pushy,” let me assure you that people LOVE to help. They LOVE to contribute and be a part of your success. And second, make sure your “ask” is crystal clear: know who your ideal client is and describe them simply in your request for referrals.

  1. Repeat step #2 monthly to nurture your list. This is the step that makes all of the difference. Asking once doesn’t work. People are busy. They are interacting with dozens of people a day and your first ask gets lost in the shuffle in their minds.

The key to making this step work: Make this a priority every single month by scheduling an appointment in your calendar to connect with your list.

Now for confession time: as amazing as referrals are for a business, I still struggled to do the actions necessary to generate them. So if you find this challenging, please don’t beat yourself up.

Here are a few things that help to melt resistance and get results:

  • Script your referral asks to boost your confidence
  • Create simple contact lists to keep you organized
  • Schedule time in your calendar dedicated to referral generation
  • Customize your approach for your ideal client, industry and personal style
  • Get accountability

And remember to ask for help. Adam (the expert on my team who grew my referrals exponentially) has a variety of ways to help you succeed with referral generation. Contact Adam here to explore how he can help you build your business through referrals.

Mary Cravets

Founder Mary Cravets started Simply Get Clients because she saw small business owners complicating growing their businesses. Or falling victim to the "build it and they will come" myth. So she developed the simple structure to cut through all the noise of social media, "experts", online funnels, advertising and more to focus on the central problem of business owners: getting more clients. And you know what? There is NOT a one-size-fits-all solution.