When was the last time you got a referral from a current customer? Are you actively asking for referrals, or do you expect to have leads just show up whenever your customers remember to talk about your company?

Many of your customers would be happy to refer a customer or vendor to you, but you need to let them know you would appreciate the referral. Here are a few ways to approach asking for referrals.

Why Should You Be Concerned?

Generally, referral leads tend to be of a higher quality than those found through other methods. Two reasons for this, according to Steli Efti, are “customers will most likely know others who run very similar businesses, which means they are highly qualified leads for your company” and “have the benefit of trust right at the start of the relationship” because you are being introduced by someone they know.


Call Scripts To Use While Asking For Referrals:

Here’s a script from HubSpot for approaching your current customers about giving your company referrals:

Salesperson: You told me you’re happy with my work thus far. Have you told anybody about what we’ve done together?

Customer: No.

Salesperson: Is it because you’re not pleased with the outcomes?

Customer: No, we’re pretty happy.

Salesperson: Well then, do you think what we do together would be beneficial to your clients, vendors, or competitors?

Customer: I don’t want you working with my competitors, but maybe some of my vendors.

Salesperson: Your vendors then — do you have a favorite? Do they sell to other people you know?

Customer: Yeah, we have a good relationship.

Salesperson: But you haven’t mentioned that you were working with us yet.

Customer: I haven’t, but maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

Salesperson: Do you remember why you hired me?

Customer: To grow our business.

Salesperson: And are any of your favorite vendors trying to grow their businesses?

Customer: Yes, a few in particular.

Salesperson: Okay. In that case, if you called or sent an email and said ‘I’ve been working with Rick for six months, and we’re starting to do some pretty interesting stuff. I know you’re growing your business, so I thought I’d put you two together,” would they like you for that or not like you?


Efti uses this template when approaching customers for referrals:

You: “Are you happy that you chose our product?”

Customer: “Yes.”

You: “Great. Who else do you know who could benefit from a solution like ours?”

Customer: “Hmm… I’m going to think about this later and get back to you.”

You: “I appreciate that, and I’m sure that over the months and years as you benefit more and more, we’re going to get lots of referrals from you, which is going to be awesome. Today, let’s take a minute right now and think about just one friend who is in a similar position and would really benefit from this.”  

Efit says that if the customer tells you “no” again and sounds even more annoyed with you, you simply tell them “Okay, I respect that, I will follow up in an email, I really appreciate that you are offering your help.”However, he has found that 40% of people will give you referrals after the second ask.

If they do give you a name, respond with, “Great, thank you. I want to make it as easy as possible for you to make that introduction. So you’ll get an intro-email from me. Just copy paste it and send it to Bob and Steve. Feel free to make edits or write something yourself if you like. Let’s make this happen today!”


Email Scripts To Use While Asking For Referrals:

If your customer agrees to give you a referral, pass them this script from HubSpot:


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve been working with [salesperson] for a few months. The other day, I was talking with him about some of the things that he and I have done, and I realized that I should put you two together. So…

[Referral], meet [Salesperson, with a LinkedIn profile URL].

[Salesperson], meet [Referral, with a LinkedIn profile URL].

Can I leave the rest to you guys?

Talk to you both later.


Or, this script from Efti:

Hey {firstname},

I wanted to connect you with Steli, their company does XYZ. I think this can be really interesting for you, and a contact would be mutually beneficial.

I’ll let you guys take it from here,



Make Referrals a Part of Your Business

Be sure to ask for a referral after every sale. Efti also recommends you ask the referral to thank your initial customer so that they feel appreciated and are likely to refer you again. Soon you’ll be enjoying the benefits of working with referral leads.


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