A Second Strategy to Bring Clients Back

A Second Strategy to Bring Clients Back

The strategy I love the most is the Frequent Referrer Program.  The concept involves taking the first-time client and having them become a “salesperson” who is excited and enthusiastic about promoting you and your business. 

The first time you experience a potential client, make them feel very comfortable and be genuinely excited to meet them to lay the foundation.  Give them or tell them about your credentials, so you become an expert in their eyes,  Then, exceed their expectation by “wowing” them with a high-value  free gift–an e-book, assessment, CD, journal, etc.  This gift should be one that they are surprised to receive and that ties in with the essence of your business. You might even want to give multiple gifts. Be sure to tell them the regular price of the gifts.  This lays the framework for those becoming your clients to know that the way you treat others is great.

I continue to be amazed that most people do not ask for referrals. It is the most successful marketing strategy on the planet, and yet people are not asking. I think it is because they are uncomfortable and do not know what to say. And so, I am going to give you an idea of wording I have used to build my businesses.

“I am asking a favor of you.  if you enjoyed the e-course I provided to you, I would like you to send me someone I can help the same way I have helped you. I am sure they will be pleased and I would also appreciate it.  Will you do that for me?”

See how easy it is? All you have to do is ASK! If you don’t ask people to refer, they will not and you will waste money, energy, and time marketing to find clients.

The strategy is based on the principle that if people feel good about referring, they will refer more people. So, I deeply appreciate and acknowledge client referrals. I call people and thank them; I write them a thank you note, and I send them a thank you gift.  Many times when I teach this, the student is thinking of how they can do this with less effort. So they do not do all three steps and they get about one-third as many referrals as they could.

The entire frequent referrer program is based on recognizing the people who make the referrals.

The third way you acknowledge them is by a gift program. I recommend a gift that is priced between $10 and $20.  Select items they will want to display in their offices or homes. Inscribe the gift.  Some of the gifts I have sent over the years include: an acrylic clock, a calculator, and a paperweight.

When they refer the second person, you follow the same system AND you send a more expensive gift–such as a notepad/calculator (engraved again); an emergency car kit; a thermos, etc.  For each referral above this, I work in increments of three. For each third referral, I bump the gift up. So, it might be lunch at their favorite restaurant, a weekend getaway, etc. I do not promote this program to my clients. I love to wow them with the surprise gifts.

I have found in approximately nine months time, this program is fully born and referrals flow in. It is great fun for all and I happily pay for a gift of dinner to have a new client.

If you have not yet read the first strategy for bringing clients back, go here.

What one action can you take to set up your frequent referral program?



About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. Rachel

    These are great ideas to create loyalty to anything you do. This type of thing would work well for both offline and online for growing referrals.

    Thanks for sharing

    Andy Lockhart recently posted…What do You Know About Pinterest?My Profile

  2. Asking for referrals is a great idea!

  3. I love the “because” aspect when you ask for a referral, the psycology behind that is powerful. Thanks for sharing this Rachel, it’s a really great post and I’m sharing it over on Linkedin where I know it will be received well
    Sarah Arrow recently posted…You are Not Your Ideal Customer Part OneMy Profile

  4. This is a strategy that I’ve filed in the list of things to do later along with an affiliate program.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted…10 Simple Ways to Be More Authentic on TwitterMy Profile

  5. That’s a great idea. Makes me want to send you a referral.
    Zach recently posted…Christmas Greetings from Pickard Parry PfauMy Profile

  6. Rachel,
    I am feeling wowed by your simple process of making people feel wowed with gifts. It takes time and forethought and money – and I can see how people will be so impressed they will be excited to share about you to their friends and acquaintances.

    Thanks for sharing your secret sauce with us.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…The Dirty Secret of Success in BusinessMy Profile

  7. Hello Rachel, I love the gift idea, I have sent out gratitude cards in the past and will now think about adding a small gift. Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

  8. Hi Rachel,

    Thank you for this wonderful advice! While I do ask my clients for referrals and send them small “thank you” gifts when their referral signs up, I don’t create an additional incentive. I love the idea of a gift program.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. What an awesome and professional approach Rachel!

    And it’s very easy to see how and why your simple, yet effective system and approach
    can be and is so effective!

    Wowing anyone in business and or otherwise goes a long towards building rock solid, dependable relationships!

    And it’s obvious this process is working extremely well for you! Great read and thanks so much for sharing it!
    Mark recently posted…What Can The Clint Eastwood Movie The Good The Bad And The Ugly Teach You About Successful Blogging?My Profile

  10. Hi Rachel!

    This is such a fantastic post and such a great idea! I am definately going to give this a try! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  11. Hi Rachel,

    I find that referrals work so well. If I give a client extra time or anything else that they appreciate, I know right then and there that they want to give a little something back. So I just tell them that If they enjoyed (whatever) I would greatly appreciate them to tell a friend, or give a testimonial.

    I find this is a great way of doing business. I also like sending a small gift. It could be a $10 gift card via Facebook. Takes a minute to do. People do remember us when we show a little random act of kindness.

    Thanks for the tips!

    donna merrill recently posted…How Bloggers Gain AuthorityMy Profile

  12. Hi Rachel,
    What a great idea. I have thought of gift giving in the past but have never followed through with it. It does make perfect sense to give that little extra, so people will be more than happy to refer other people to you.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…Who Is Really At Fault?My Profile

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