Multiply Your Customers By Guaranteeing They Refer Everyone They Know


Joe was rowing his boat out in the middle of a lake for a relaxing day of fishing. A huge green snake comes up alongside the boat with a half-swallowed frog sticking out of it’s mouth. Feeling bad for the frog, Joe used his paddle to hit the snake, releasing the frog to safety. Joe felt really good about saving the frog, but started feeling bad that he deprived the snake of his lunch, so he looked around his boat for something to feed the snake with. All he had was a bottle of bourbon, so he gave the snake a nice big swig and the snake swam away happy.

Three minutes later, the snake returned…with two frogs in it’s mouth.

When you watch shark tank, Mr. Wonderful always talks about sending out his dollars to the school yard hoping they come back with friends.

There is no reason why Your Customers Shouldn’t be going out and bringing more customers back to you. In fact, most businesses rely pretty heavily on getting customer referrals. Here’s what stumps me though…

When Was The Last Time You ASKED For a Referral From Your Delighted Customers? 

If you are like most business owners, the answer to that question is never. I can talk at length about the dynamic of how getting referrals is the ultimate validation while asking for referrals is a blow to your ego. There is no room however for Ego in business, and you are probably leaving about 2x-5x the amount of referrals you can be getting on the table just because you are shy.

Dan Kennedy in his book The Ultimate Marketing Plan discusses a formula for maximizing referrals which should work great for your. He calls it the EAR Formula.

E Stands For EARN… We Have To Earn Our  Referrals. We Need To Do Such A Great Job At Pleasing Our Customers That They CAN’t RESIST Telling Others About You!” 

You should take the time to ask yourself how you can surprise and delight your customers. Dan elaborates about a pediatric dentist that redesigned his office so that the receptionist was eye level to the children who were his patients, making them feel like they are important. He also gave out free bicycles to the kids who brushed their teeth well. (How do you not tell the world about your great dentist who bought you a bike?!) He also Called each patient the evening after their appointment to see how they are feeling. Finally, his waiting room had giant pictures of the Dentists and Dental Assistants, with their names, hobbies and interests so the kids can pick the dentist they want to use. He did many more things, but you can imagine his practice was the talk of the town and he got tons of referrals.

A Stands For Ask. There Are Many Ways To Ask For A Referral, Like Hanging A leaderboard in your store or office showing the names of the customers who drove the most referrals. 

Showcase the customers who refer the most in your newsletter, websites, and in your marketing. Send the message that, “Referring Is What You Do Around Here.”

Give out coupons,cards, certificates, etc… your customers can give out to their friends. Run contests and promotions rewarding the best referrers.

Conduct referral events like an Insurance Agent that Dan Mentions who Threw Himself Lavish Birthday Parties each year and invited all his clients and encouraged them to invite their friends. He would rent a huge tent, with live entertainment, drinks, belly dancers, magicians, the works… Hundreds of clients bring hundreds of other people each year, and the Insurance Agent meets hundreds of new prospects.

R Stands For Recognize and Reward. Like The Snake Who Returned With Two Frogs. When You Reward Referrals You Encourage Your Clients To Refer More and More.  Make A Big Deal Out Of It!!!

So remember, deliver an exceptional experience, earn those referrals. Ask for them, don’t just let them happen. Proactively pursue them. And when they happen, make a big deal out of it, reward that behavior and send the message to your customers that Sending referrals your way is how things are done around here, and you will be rewarded handsomely for your efforts.

Turn your clients into champions of your business and brand and watch as they tell everyone they see about how great you are.


About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.


  1. I’m always amazed at how seldom insurance agents actually ask for referrals. It should be an automatic part of “on-boarding” any new client. is how I do it.

    • DavidMelamed says

      It’s not just insurance agents. Most people don’t ask for referrals. What type of results do you see from your efforts asking for referrals?

  2. Rebecca Michaels says

    If you are doing the right thing by your customers, putting the utmost effort in and providing them a service that they can rave about, then there is no reason you shouldn’t get a referral. That’s what most people think, and I’m almost ashamed that I actually needed your article to remind me about the power of speech and that gaining more business can go as simply as this.
    Customer: Wow, thank you so much. You did such a wonderful job and I’m so happy.
    Business: Thank you so much, and please refer us on.
    That’s a bit of a paraphrase, but it really could be that easy. I guess it’s as simple as saying that there is no room to be shy in business.


  1. […] will grow your brand for you. Bottom line, do right by your readers or customers, and they will refer everyone they […]

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