3 Standbys For Increasing Customer Referrals

“If there is something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ask.”  – W. Clement Stone

If you were to ask Uber what has been their biggest contributor to its insane growth over the past few years, they would give you one incredibly simple answer: referrals.

That is it.

It isn’t hard to understand why referrals mean so much to them. Think about when someone makes a referral: whether it’s to try out a new product, service, or even connect with another individual, you take it on trust.

It is usually coming from someone who already has intimate knowledge on the subject matter, and who has earned their credibility. It is coming from someone that understands your needs and has a clear-cut, authentic solution through a channel where they have already established a relationship. It is the ultimate life hack for businesses, no matter if you’re B2B, B2C, a service or a product. The funny part is… this is something overlooked by most businesses.

Here is the thing. Increasing the amount of referrals from individuals isn’t hard. In-fact, it only takes three steps to implement:

1) Offer a product/service worthy of being referred

Though this should be self-explanatory, too many founders think the problem is with their marketing rather than their product. If you don’t offer a product or service that truly gives someone value – that makes their life easier, more efficient, more productive, makes them money or gives them more time – why should they refer you to somebody else?

Following the guidelines of the fantastic book, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk, this works beyond just advertising. If you have a company that gives someone insanely more value than the price point you’re asking them to pay, they will want to tell the world.

Again, using Uber as an example, this should seem clear-cut. They created a product that solved a problem better than anyone else, at a price point that the consumer is willing to pay and provides them even more value through an easy-to-use, beautiful application.

This isn’t rocket science. Of course, execution is easier said than done. That is why companies like us at ChopDawg exist after all… (wink wink).

This scenario exists for service-based companies like us, as well. There is a reason why so many of our clients were referrals, introduced to us directly. It is because just like Uber, which gives so much disproportionate value back to the consumer, we do the same for the companies and startups that work with us. We’re able to provide more value than any of our competition, help build, design and develop better applications than anyone else, and of course, most important of all build long-lasting relationships with our clients. This in turn gives our clients value, which means they will not hesitate to tell similarly-situated friends, colleagues and vendors about us. It really is that simple.

2) Ask for referrals

Now, for a lot of you who are reading this, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “well, my company fits the mold for giving value, my customers tell me all the time, so why aren’t they referring anyone to us?”

Here is the easy answer. You’re not asking them to do it.

You can hope that an existing client of yours, or a fan, is telling the world about you. Hell, this will happen if you create enough value for a business or individual. It’s in our DNA to share great experiences with others, especially in similar situations such as us, after all.

For a lot of individuals, they aren’t going out of their way to refer someone because – let’s be honest – we are busy people, especially for the executives, decision makers and entrepreneurs reading this. We just aren’t thinking about how we can help other companies when we are busy enough worrying about our own.

However, something amazing happens when you simply ask. Most of the time, if you truly did execute on step one by providing someone with value, they will be more than thrilled to help you. After all, you did give them something they wanted. You gave them back time. You made them money. You solved a problem. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to snag a referral.

Our team isn’t afraid to ask for referrals – we’re excited to do it. We ask our clients all the time if they know anybody who is in need our services, that are looking to build an incredible app, that needs a development firm to help scale their operations. We even ask our fans. The ones to whom this exact blog and podcast provides value. We tweet and message them all the time. If we can’t help them directly, do they know anyone that we could? What is the worst that happens, they say no?

Reference the quote from W. Clement Stone at the start of this article, if it doesn’t hurt you to ask and you lose nothing from asking, why not ask? You’ll be no worse off either way. The definition here of a low risk, high reward strategy.

Of course, look at Uber again as an example. They knew they were providing such a valuable product that a lot of worth of mouth will naturally happen but… what about their right hook? Simple. Making it very easy for people to share about Uber to their networks on their mobile apps. Of course, this leads us to the very last step…

3) Give value back

What happens when you refer someone to Uber and they take you up on it? Both parties make/save money. Uber gives one user $10.00 off their first ride, the person that made the referral, also receives $10.00 off their next ride.

Need another example? Airbnb. Receive $35.00 off your first time booking on Airbnb and the person who referred you, also receives $35.00 off their next booking. Small price to pay as a scaling company where the lifetime value of a customer is thousands, and you just brought another individual into their ecosystem, right?

We do the same at ChopDawg. For our clients and partners that refer us to someone that we end up working with, we provide them with 10% of the total earnings we make. This can be used as straight compensation or as a credit towards using our services in the future.

Again, notice the theme here. Create and give value through an incredible product/service. Ask for a referral. Upon making a referral, give value right back. Be thankful, be appreciative, and above-all, continue providing disproportionate value to those that matter the most.You’re a business that is meant to help others through whatever channel you use to create value. Don’t lose sight of that and don’t become greedy.

Referrals are a huge driving force to our own growth and the strategic partnerships that we often make. Referrals are also a huge contributor to incredibly large and growing companies.

Examples above also prove, it doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B, B2C, product, service, individual.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an enterprise, startup, or freelancer: the same rules apply to increasing referrals. Give value. Ask for help. Give value back…. and repeat.


Reprinted with the author’s permission from Startup Grind.


Joshua Davidson is the Founder and CEO of ChopDawg.com. Co-host of #thePawdcast on iTunes. Featured on FOX, MSNBC, CBS, Technically, EliteDaily and Mashable.