Tell me: What’s the first thing you do when you discover a product or experience a service that simply knocks your socks off??

You tell your friends about it, right?

And if your friends love what you’ve recommended, they may tell their connections about it, and the cycle will continue.

That’s the power of business referrals; they help you grow your business without much effort on your part.

And it’s not just my opinion. Here, take a look:

business referrals stats

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Amazing, eh?

The thing is, referrals rarely happen by themselves. And so, in this post, I’ll show you how to generate more referrals from your IT clients.

Let’s dig in.

#1. Write a Referral Script

The best way to drum up more business referrals is to ask for them. After all, if you never ask you’ll never know.

According to research from Texas Tech, 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer a product or service, but only 29% actually do.

Which means that you could be leaving handfuls of free referrals on the table simply by neglecting to ask for them.

The thing is – many of us feel uncomfortable asking for referrals.

Writing a script for referral requests will help you feel more comfortable and confident when you approach clients; and if you make the script a part of your regular process, you’ll never forget to ask.

How to Do This

  • Ask at a specified time during each project or service period:
    • Ask at the start to take advantage of initial enthusiasm
    • Ask in the middle during a feedback session if the work is going well
    • Ask at the end when the client is satisfied with your business
  • Approach your best clients with whom you already have a warm relationship
  • Be direct and honest

What This Looks Like

  • “John, I’m enjoying working together with you. And honestly, I’d love to have more clients like you. Would you know of anyone else who needs MSP services to help their organizations? And if so, could you pass my name along to them?”
  • “Mark, I’m always looking for more great clients like you. I wondered if you know anyone else who might be interested in my MSP services. Would you feel comfortable giving them my name?”
  • “I’m really glad that we got to work together on [project]. I’d love to meet more clients like you. Do you know anyone who might be looking for MSP services for their organization? I’d really appreciate it if you’d pass my name along to them.”

#2. Bake Promotion Into Your Contracts

Look, I understand, you might prefer not to approach and ask your clients for referrals directly.

Luckily, this doesn’t mean that you can’t generate any word of mouth about your business.

Quite the contrary, in fact.

How, by structuring your service contracts to help boost promotion.

Some businesses include a release clause that allows them to share the success of their work for one client with others. With the right language, a release like this could also allow you to use clients as references.

But keep in mind that if you use this technique, it’s courteous to notify clients when and if you use them as references. After all, you don’t want to burn any bridges in the process! If you are honest and upfront with your process and service requirements, you’ll find many clients are more than happy to act as references. And you will have a steady stream of valuable business referrals.

How to Do This

  • Seek out legal help to draft a client contract
  • Include a clause that allows you to use your work for one client for promotional purposes
  • Be sure that you can also use those clients as references

#3. Email clients asking for referrals

Similar to creating a script request, you can also ask for referrals with an email template. Email may be one of the best channels to use when searching for referrals because the client doesn’t feel pressured at the moment and they have time to think about your question.

With an email, you could even send a template to your clients that they can then send to their contacts. Instead of leaving it to them to draft a message explaining your work and their experience with you, you can do the legwork for them. All they need to do is fill in the blanks and push send.

When you email a client for referrals, emphasize the positive experience they’ve had with you as their MSP provider. Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, said, “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”

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When a client is happy with your business, they can be a continual source of new referrals. And an email sitting in their inbox is the perfect reminder for them to tell their friends.

How to Do This

  • Use your best email etiquette
  • Send the email after you have been able to establish a positive relationship
  • Don’t be afraid to follow up after a week or two if you receive no response
  • Provide a template for them to send to their contacts

What This Looks Like

Hi [Referral Name],

The last few months I’ve been working with [Your Name] at [Your Company] who has been helping us with [project/services]. I’ve been really happy with the work we’ve been able to do together, and I realized that they maybe could help you as well.

I just wanted to introduce you and [Your Name] in case you wanted to find out more. I’ll let you guys take the lead from here.”

Here is another sample email as well:

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#4. Link From Your Website

You never know where business referrals may come from. That’s why you need to have the option constantly available on your website.

Think of it like leaving the door cracked open. First-time clients or clients who don’t initially respond to your request for referrals aren’t lost causes—perhaps they just need more time to evaluate your service or think of a contact. When you provide an easy way to refer friends on your website, the door is still open for them to do so at anytime.

You can include a link for them to send via email to their contacts or you can push clients toward social media sharing. According to one poll, 67% of consumers report they are more likely to buy a product after a friend or family member has shared it via social media or email. Asking for referrals this way can also take some of the pressure off of clients to find specific leads; instead, they can push your brand to their entire social circles even if they don’t have a specific contact in mind.

How to Do This

  • Place share buttons prominently on your homepage
  • Include share buttons on sign-up or contact pages
  • Promote these links in your email signature
  • Create a dedicated page for making business referrals
  • Maintain active social media accounts

What This Looks Like

Here is a sample of what referral and social links might appear on your website. HubSpot has created a dedicated page for collecting these referrals, and each visitor has several options to share, including email and all the prominent social media channels. Empower your clients to communicate however they prefer.

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Conclusion

Whether you try one of these strategies or not, making the referral process as easy and accessible as possible should be your top priority. Send out an initial ask, follow up, and then be patient. Organizations are constantly evolving and growing. Perhaps today one of your top clients can’t think of anyone who needs MSP service, but next month they will have a list of five new contacts.

Taking charge of your referral strategy this way will guarantee you never miss out on valuable (and free) business referrals again.

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