There are thousands of articles on the web offering scripts for asking for referrals, ideas for “referral rewards programs,” and marketing ideas that involve including “I <3 referrals” in your email signature.
These are all full of great tactical advice. I'm even going to link to some of these articles in a few minutes, so you'll be able to check them out—but don't jump ahead just yet.
“There is no magic shortcut. Contrary to what the gurus tell you, referrals need to be earned; they are not given simply for the asking.”
- Kendyl Young, DIGGS
That's the most important thing to understand about referrals. You have to earn them. You have to build trust. Without laying a foundation of trust, even the cleverest referral script or rewards program in the world will have you coming up empty.
In addition to building trust, you need to examine your process and make sure you're providing a memorable, remarkable experience—something people will be moved to talk about. What do you do that is unexpected? How do you delight your clients?
"Ask yourself, am I providing a referable experience?"
- Dave Silva, Dave Silva Realty Team (Re/Max)
So, that's what it comes down to: trusting relationships and a remarkable client experience. I'd love to tell you that I've found 6 quick, easy tips for accomplishing these two objectives and earning tons of referrals. But it's just not that simple.
Instead, I have 6 not-so-quick or easy steps to earning referrals.