Yesterday, I posted about the power of referrals
and how you can encourage clients to refer you to others. While offering incentives – monetary payments, free services or discounts – can entice and thank your clients at the same time, they’re neither ideal nor appropriate in every situation. So, how can you thank your clients for taking the time and making the effort to refer you to others?
Send a Good Old-Fashioned Thank You
I’m a big proponent of hand-written, personal thank you notes. As one of the most traditional ways to say thank you, I find it kind of sad that not that many people take the time to do this anymore. I know many of us are driven by e-mail and appreciate the immediacy of it, so we tend to shoot off a quick thank you message immediately. While acting fast is great, there’s still no reason why you can’t follow-up with a real thank you note. A hand-written note can express your gratitude to the recipient in a way they will likely appreciate and not get from any other format.
Give a Gift of Appreciation
Depending on the type of referral you’ve received, you may want to send the referrer a gift of appreciation. As long as there is not an issue with the client accepting gifts (this may be an issue if you are working with a large corporation or government organization), sending a thank-you gift is a great way to say thanks. It can be something simple like a box of chocolates or a gift basket, or you can send something that shows the type of relationship you have with your client and how well you know them – tickets to a sporting event or even a bottle of their favorite wine.
And don’t forget you can also make a donation to your client’s favorite charity instead of giving them a gift directly.
Take Them Out
If you live in the same area as your client and typically deal with them face-to-face, taking them out for lunch or dinner is always an option. In fact, if the new client they referred to you is also in the same area, you can plan a meal with both parties. This can be a great way to not only say thanks, but to also facilitate potential business development opportunities.
Return the Favor
Perhaps the best way to say thanks for a referral is by doing the same for your client. Keep an ear out for contacts that could benefit from a connection with your client and be ready and willing to provide a referral.
Make Your Thank You Public
While there are certainly situations when you will want to keep the referral between you and your client, sometimes going public is a good option. Tweet about the referral, add the client to a Partners page on your web site, send a message out to your e-mail list, or offer a reciprocal link on your web site. This not only increases the visibility of your client, but shows other clients how much you appreciate referrals.
However you decide to thank your clients for their referrals, make sure you do it right away. This is definitely one action you want to make a priority and not put off to do later. Also, keep in mind the type of referral you’ve received, and make your thank you relative in size, cost and time spent. It makes sense to have different ways of saying thank you for different types of referrals.
How do you thank your clients for referrals?
Image credit: Steve Woods
Frequently Asked Questions about Thanking for Referrals
What is the best way to say thank you for a referral?
The best way to say thank you for a referral is to send a personalized note or email expressing your gratitude. It’s important to mention the specific referral and how it has helped you. You can also include a small token of appreciation, such as a gift card or a discount on your services. Remember, the key is to make the person feel valued and appreciated for their effort.
How soon should I send a thank you note after receiving a referral?
It’s best to send a thank you note as soon as possible after receiving a referral. This shows that you value the referral and appreciate the effort made by the person who referred you. A prompt response also helps to strengthen your relationship with the referrer.
What should I include in a thank you note for a referral?
A thank you note for a referral should include a sincere expression of gratitude, a mention of the specific referral, and how it has benefited you or your business. You can also include a small token of appreciation or a promise to return the favor in the future.
Can I send a digital thank you note for a referral?
Yes, you can send a digital thank you note for a referral. In fact, in today’s digital age, it’s often the most convenient and quickest way to express your gratitude. However, make sure to personalize the message and make it as sincere as possible.
How can I make my thank you note for a referral stand out?
To make your thank you note stand out, personalize it as much as possible. Mention the specific referral and how it has helped you. You can also include a small token of appreciation or a promise to return the favor in the future. A handwritten note can also make a big impression.
Is it necessary to send a thank you note for every referral?
While it’s not mandatory, it’s highly recommended to send a thank you note for every referral. This shows that you value the effort made by the person who referred you and helps to strengthen your relationship with them.
Can I use a template for my thank you note for a referral?
While using a template can save time, it’s important to personalize your thank you note as much as possible. This shows that you’ve put thought and effort into expressing your gratitude and makes the note more meaningful.
What tone should I use in my thank you note for a referral?
Your thank you note should be sincere and professional. However, depending on your relationship with the person who referred you, it can also be friendly and informal. The key is to express your gratitude genuinely and respectfully.
Can I ask for more referrals in my thank you note?
While it’s not recommended to directly ask for more referrals in your thank you note, you can subtly encourage it by mentioning how much the referral has helped you and that you’re always open to helping more people.
What if I don’t get a chance to send a thank you note immediately after receiving a referral?
If you don’t get a chance to send a thank you note immediately after receiving a referral, it’s still important to send one as soon as you can. Even if some time has passed, expressing your gratitude is always appreciated.