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Two women in a meeting as part of an article about client referrals.

Client referrals – they’re super important for businesses.

Your clients are the best proof to prospects of a job done well.

In fact, research consistently demonstrates the ability of client referrals to drive and increase conversion.

How do you leverage this pool of good press without coming across as awkward, or even worse, desperate?

Here are five totally unawkward ways to ask a client for a referral.


Five yellow stars lined up against a pink and blue background.

Five ways to five stars. Credit: Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash.

1. Be Direct

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

But if you are going to be direct when asking for client referrals, timing is crucial.

Execute the request when your client is experiencing the utmost value of your work – it’s the sweet spot.

There is no need to feel awkward or insecure when requesting client referrals at this moment. You’ve excelled and your client loves you for it, so what is there to lose?


Close up of two people shaking hands.

Direct is good, as long as you hit the sweet spot. Credit: Cytonn Photography on Unsplash.

2. Know Your Value

This is an extension of the above point.

If you’re nervous about asking for client referrals, think about all the value you provide to your clients and what that means to them.

Value comes in many forms – consider all the tangible and intangible ways you provide value to your clients.

This is a great exercise to conduct for yourself regardless of whether you’re asking for client referrals or not – to remind yourself of your worth.

All going well, the exercise should validate why it’s okay to request a client testimonial.


Woman's hands shown typing on a laptop.

Value comes in many forms. Credit: Corinne Kutz on Unsplash.

3. Add Perks

Who doesn’t love a freebie?

Whether it’s a discount on services or a thoughtful gift, demonstrate gratitude to your clients for passing on your details to a friend or associate.

Maybe you’re thinking that it’s a desperate move – almost like trying to ‘buy’ client referrals.

Well, the art of giving is doing it without expectation. Surprise and delight is a winning move.


Cup of coffee placed on top of a thank you card.

Genuine gratitude is valuable when it comes to client referrals. Credit: Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash.

4. Refer Your Clients Too

Client referrals are a two-way street.

Demonstrate that you are committed to building a positive and strong network and helping out others.

This is the most genuine method to show you’re open to referrals.

The unspoken convention goes a long way in relationships. Leverage this, and there’s an excellent opportunity to create a sincere two-way flow of referrals.


Professional women in a meeting scenario.

Strengthening relationships is important for receiving client referrals. Credit: Linkedin Sales Solutions on Unsplash.

5. Make Sure Clients Have Your Number

Sounds simple, but is your number in clients’ phones?

You can make sure it is by sending them a message sometime during the sales cycle with a reminder to save your number in their phone in case they need it.

It’s how you know your info is always on hand in case they want to share it with someone.

Business cards and emails just don’t have the same immediacy and impact as a contact saved in a phone. Also, this move represents a level of closeness and confidence between you and your client.

There you have it – a handful of totally unawkward ways to ask for client referrals.

Remember: Your clients are your best spokespeople. Treat them well and they’ll do the same for you.


Woman talking on mobile phone.

Here’s my number, so refer me, maybe. Credit: Taylor Grote on Unsplash.

Need Help With Client Referrals and Much More?

At Hunt & Hawk, we’re specialists at coaching and up-skilling professionals to grow their networks through strategic branding, sales, and marketing communications.

And that’s just the start of what we offer for our vast range of clients based locally, nationally, and overseas.

Keen to learn more about what we do and our unique approach to helping businesses grow? Reach out to us today to find out more.

How would you like to engage with us?