5 Ways to Gain Referrals and Earn Repeat Business

business 101 marketing Feb 13, 2023

In the Blog:

  • Being a business owner for more than twenty years, Leigh has learned time and again the importance of word-of-mouth marketing, and today she shares her top 5 things a business can do to earn it.
  • What business referrals are and why they matter to your business.
  • Don't just think about the transaction when you work with your clients. Think about their EXPERIENCE when they work with you.
  • Clients, friends and colleagues should be rewarded for every business referral. (Be sure it is industry appropriate.)
  • If you want more referrals and reviews, make it easy for clients to refer and review you.
  •  Ready to see what business coaching with Certified High-Performance Coach Leigh Wilson is like? Sign up for your FREE one-on-one strategy session now.



Whether you are just starting your business, growing your business or starting your fifth business, referrals are critical for its success. Being one of the most trusted forms of marketing, referrals often lead to higher conversion rates and lasting relationships. 

If you are not convinced referrals are an essential element of your business, here is something to think about:

According to Hubspot, Referred customers are proven to be 18% more loyal. They also have a 16% higher lifetime value rate. Ultimately, they spend 13% more than non-referred customers. These referral marketing statistics underscore the importance of referrals for a business’s sales and profits, not to mention reputation. 

Now that the importance of referrals has been established, let's jump into what exactly referrals are, what they can do for your business and how you can get more referrals for your business.


What is a Business Referral?

A business referral is when someone from your sphere (a friend, business associate, past client, etc.) refers your business or its services/products to someone in their sphere. This not only presents a warm lead for you but one that is also free.

Referrals are a great way to grow your client database, build a strong reputation, 

This word-of-mouth marketing tends to happen naturally if you have properly wowed your clients, but it is wise to invest time in an intentional referral plan. Leigh's 5 tips on earning more referrals for your business will provide a solid place to start.


Why Referrals are the Best Form of Marketing

  •  Budget-Friendly: Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are completely free to earn. All you have to do is thank them appropriately once you already have the new lead.
  • Ideal Audience: If someone refers your business, it is more likely that the person they refer you to is already in need of your service or product. Meaning you get to skip the paid ads and keywords while having your business presented to someone in need of what you offer.
  • Increased trust: Referrals often come from trusted sources such as friends, family members, or satisfied customers. This increases the level of trust potential customers have in the company and can lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Positive reputation: When customers are happy with a company's products or services, they are more likely to refer others to that company. This creates a positive reputation for the company, which can lead to even more referrals and new business.

  • Long-term customer relationships: Referral marketing helps build long-term customer relationships, as it relies on satisfied customers promoting the company to their network. This can lead to repeat business and a loyal customer base.

Leigh's 5 Tips to Earn Referrals and Gain Repeat Business

  1. Appreciate Your Clients. Let them know consistently that you value them. Word-of-mouth success comes from looking beyond just profit into how you can enrich your customers' lives. At least once a month, take the time to communicate with your clients and show them how much you appreciate them. Perhaps you can send something of value, something unexpected. It could be a bonus report or a special piece of news that you just found. Make it super relevant to them, and do it regularly.
  2. Create an Exceptional Experience. Suppose you can make doing business with you an exceptional experience. In that case, your clients will want to tell a whole lot of people about you because people want amazing experiences. What can you do right now to add little things that make an exceptional experience? Something as simple as creating a calendar event for your next meeting and inviting them through Google Calendar so they can seamlessly accept the event, and it will then be on their calendar with the location, details and reminders that you have set up. Exceptional AND Easy. Perhaps you throw annual client parties as an exceptional thank you. Or you could have a list of trusted vendors ready to email when your clients might be looking for referrals (Bonus - if they weren't in the referral mindset before, this list might help get them there.)
  3. Incentivize Referrals. If you are being passive about referrals, you are sitting on a gold mine! Come up with ways of rewarding your clients for referring business to you. No matter what you choose, the key is to make sure it is something that your client is attracted to. This could be anything from a box of chocolates to an all-inclusive cruise, but you must reward your clients for referring business to you. If your budget is small, never underestimate the power of a handwritten thank you card. Keep in mind: You may not be in an industry where gifts and rewards are not permitted. So, just be sure you know the laws for your state and industry.
  4. Make it Easy. If you want to get lots of referrals you must make it incredibly easy for clients to tell their friends. Don't expect them to go out of their way to help you grow your business. Make it as simple as possible. Maybe you ask your clients to be an ambassador for you and provide a referral package with a professionally designed document that explains why referrals are important to you and a series of referral cards or invites - links that your client can share easily with others and post to their social media accounts. Always be sure to present everything very professionally in order to increase the perceived value of your offer or services. And, to put your best foot forward with your new potential client.
  5. Don't Forget to Ask. Anytime is a good time to ask for a referral if you have completed the previous steps. So, don't be shy! You have now let clients know they are appreciated. You have consistently given them an exceptional experience. You have provided an enticing incentive to share your message with friends, and you have made it easy for them to do so. At this point, you should not only feel comfortable asking for a referral at any time, but you should also receive very positive results from it as well. 

The key is to do something now. Send an email to your clients letting them know how much you value them and how much you have enjoyed working with them in the past. Be sure to include something that is helpful and will provide value to their lives. Then, over the next four to six weeks, develop your referral package and start using it. Get yourself out of your comfort zone and take action!



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