Referrals are too valuable to waste. Follow these rules to avoid costly mistakes.


  • Provide excellence in products and services.
  • Constantly seek better ways to serve your customers.
  • Be energetic, enthusiastic and sincere in your business dealings.
  • Offer ongoing training and coaching to your customer-contact staff.
  • Keep in touch with friends and business colleagues every 30 days.
  • Provide referrals to others who deserve them.
  • Offer something of value for good customers to offer their contacts.
  • Make you and your company a low-risk referral.
  • Use business social media to build contacts and referrals.
  • Be a good person—it works!


  • Think you can buy referrals—but be sure to promptly offer your heartfelt thanks and inform the referrer of the outcome.
  • Offer an incentive for prospects that you generally make available to the marketplace.
  • Underestimate the discomfort many people feel in asking for referrals—find ways to make it easier!
  • Snub people in lower positions—they move on to bigger and better things.
  • Give referrals solely with the intention of getting them in return.
  • Be nice only when you need to be—make it a habit.
  • Fail to work at gaining referrals everyday.
  • Forget about people who are important to you.
  • Lose sight of the customer’s perspective—make referrals beneficial to them and easy to do.
  • Think referral programs are built in a day.

Keeping in Touch. One of the slickest systems we’ve seen is SendOutCards®. It’s a web-based program that lets you send a printed greeting card with your message, in your own handwriting if you wish, in less than 60 seconds. All you do is choose your card, write your message and click send. SendOutCards prints it, stuffs it and mails it, all for less than a greeting card at the store. You can even upload your own images as well as include high quality food and gifts for special occasions. For a quick, one-on-one demo and an opportunity to send a free personalized card to a friend or colleague, we refer you to Kei Narimatsu.

— by Larry Bauer