It’s blurted from every direction how referrals are among the best ways to increase your sales. Experts proclaim that you have to ask for them, and ask for them at the right time. You have to be systematic, and be proactive, and never to forget how badly you need them. The most effective long term strategy to get referrals is through giving referrals.

Why is there so little mention of giving referrals? I am sure there are many reasons, but the fundamental cause is human selfishness. We care about us. Don’t feel bad because we have been programmed that way. Some think that referrals are about getting them and the tactics to use to get them.

In reality, giving referrals is one of the best ways to get them.

When you give a referral you:

-Tell someone that you care about their success. We are busy. Often it is difficult to think beyond our own daily struggles for success. But, when we take the time to give a referral we show that we care. 

-Value their service. I have known people that have provided a service I did not value. I would not use their service because I didn’t think it would help my business and I didn’t think others would benefit either. If you are not getting referrals, others might think negatively about your service.

-Declare that they are credible. I have known some people in business that provided a useful service but I didn’t think they were credible. Perhaps, I have used their service in the past or I have heard troubling information from trusted sources.

-Putting your reputation on the line. There is no way around it. You will put your reputation on the line when giving a referral. You tell your friend that an attorney does a great job and the attorney drops the ball you will look like a fool. It is a risk you take, but it is necessary. You should only give referrals for people you trust.

-Provide a service. Giving a referral is service. You took your time, connections, and reputation to help someone else. You are not getting paid to help, but you are giving the service anyway because you believe in the other.

-Give them a great reason to return the favor. Giving a referral is a huge favor to a business. Most people will feel an obligation to return the favor. When you are known as a giver and a connector people will want to reciprocate. Yes, there are some that will take you for granted and never reciprocate, but most people will be grateful and at least try.

You can’t accept a 1-to-1 exchange of referrals with anyone. Referrals don’t work that way, but there is no better way to receive referrals than to give, first. When you give someone a referrals you can remind them of your ideal client. Remind them that you are taking on new clients and that you appreciate their help.

Before you think about how come I am not getting more referrals? Think who can I refer? Accelerate your outgoing referrals before you blame others for not helping you out. Soon you will find that you will achieve your goals faster.