How To Ask For Referrals From Friends And Colleagues

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Hi,  Bernie De Souza here with some good news for you today.

Everyone’s got a story

A friend of mine recently told me of an experience he had while on holiday.

He and his wife were traveling by train, and as they settled into their seats they looked around at the other 

They observed a young woman in her twenties looking excitedly out of the opposite train window.

The young woman laughed loudly as they passed a farm and said to the man sitting across from her,  “Dad – 
look at the cows, there are so many of them!”

Her Dad smiled, and so did my friend and his wife, watching her excitement and thinking that this must be her 
very first train ride.

After a moment, the girl exclaimed:  “Dad, look up! The clouds are racing us!”

Her Dad smiled broadly and said, “Yes, my dear, it’s certainly a beautiful sight!”

My friend felt a bit sorry for the Dad with his daughter’s juvenile behaviour, as quite a few of the train’s 
passengers were looking at them due to all the noise. My friend spoke up and said to the man, “Travelling with 
your daughter must sometimes be a challenge for you, Why don’t you take her to a good doctor?”   

The Father smiled and said kindly, “I did. In fact we are just coming from the hospital and are heading home.  
You see, my daughter was born blind and she just got her sight back today.   This is the first time she’s been 
able to see!”

My friend’s story is good reminder that every single person on this planet has a story to tell.  

As the old saying goes:
‘Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.  Their story might surprise you.’
A bit of humour for you.

A young executive was leaving the office late one evening, when he finds the CEO standing in front of a paper 
shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for 
the night. Can you make this thing work for me?”

“Certainly,” the young executive says.

He turns the machine on, inserts the paper, and presses the start button.

“Excellent, excellent!” says the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine.
“I just need one copy.”

Many of my clients tell me they often ask for and receive referrals from their clients.  

One challenge they face is how to ask for referrals from their business friends and associates who are not their 

Here are three easy ways to ask for referrals without getting banned from the next family wedding or reunion.

1. Know Your Target Audience.  

This may seem like a no‐brainer, but I find that many times people know nothing about their associates before 
approaching them about referrals. When we talk with our customers and interested prospects, it’s easy for us 
to share the benefits of our product or service.  

Sometimes though, clients find it difficult to talk about their business with family, friends and non‐clients. The 
first step to becoming comfortable about asking for referrals is to develop a customer avatar – a thorough and 
complete description of what our ideal customer looks like.   

Take some time and make a list of what your ideal client wants and needs from your business.  If you’re stuck 
for ideas, then look at what your satisfied customers are saying in existing customer testimonials. Include 
questions and problems your current clients face, and incorporate the benefits you offer in your ideal 
customer profile.  

Learn who your ideal customer is, including the characteristics they have in common and challenges they face. 
Then it becomes much easier to talk about your business with them.

2. Offer A Reward to Businesses and  Personal Acquaintances.   

Let people know you are looking to expand your business.  Ask them, “Would it be ok if I share a little about 
my business with you in case you run across someone who might need my product or service?”   

Then tell them about your ideal customer, and let your them know that you’d like to give them a “reward” or 
“finder’s fee” for any referrals that come your way who mention their name.  

This reward can be a product or service you offer, a gift card to a local restaurant, or a monetary reward. It’s 
up to you, and you’ll find that people will be more than willing to help!

3. Join a Breakfast Club ... or Start One.   

A great way to develop a steady stream of referrals is through joining or starting a breakfast club.  
A breakfast club is a group of business men and women who meet up for breakfast and share experiences, 
business building ideas and referrals.  

You may choose to do an evening networking event if that suits you and your schedule better.  
Invite some business people you know, in various fields other than yours so you can create a diverse group, 
and set a time to meet once a month at a local restaurant or coffee shoppe.  

Each person gets a minute or two to share about their business and any challenges they’re currently having. 
The group can offer their insights, advice and experiences. 

Then, each person should close by saying:  “My ideal client is:_______________.  “

As you build rapport and get to know more about one another’s businesses, you’ll be able to refer potential 
clients to them as you encounter them in your daily life.  

In essence, you’ll be developing  your own personal referral network. This would be a great tool to have at 
your disposal!

Still need a little help making those connections?

Here’s a great way to get people interested in you and your business immediately!

How To Build Instant Rapport With Prospective Clients


Until next time,


Do you know a friend who could use some help building rapport and asking for referrals? 
Please feel free to forward this email along to them!




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