How to Become a Business Coach

Three Steps to More Business Coaching Referrals

By on September 1, 2019

The best and most leveraged way to grow your practice is by getting business coaching referrals.

Often, referrals come naturally, as your clients’ success leads them to recommend other entrepreneurs and business owners to you.

However, you can accelerate the process with an intentional habit of asking for referrals.

Keep in mind the value of your coaching. Remember that most people enjoy helping others. Give them that pleasure. Asking for referrals is a win-win activity.

Follow my three-step formula for more business coaching referrals, and you’ll accelerate your growth–without begging or hassle.

I call my referral process EAR.

Earn, Ask, Reward.

Here’s how it works:

Earn 

The first step is earn. The fact is, before you can even think about asking for a business coaching referral, you’ve got to earn it. And that means delivering all-star service, all the time. It means listening to your clients. It means caring about them. It means building solid relationships of trust. It means making sure you’re poised and effective and able to solve their problems and deliver over-the-top value.

Ask

Then, once you’ve earned it, you’ve got to ask.

And you’ve got to ask consistently and systematically. This is what will really set you apart from most other business coaches–and it will be a major difference-maker in you results.

When you approach this properly, they’ll feel flattered that you’re coming to them for help!

There are many ways to ask for business coaching referrals. You can ask personally. You can send an email or a greeting card. You can call them on the phone. But whatever you do, make sure it’s systematic–or you’ll diminish its effectiveness.

There are many ways to ask for business coaching referrals. You can ask personally. You can send an email or a greeting card. You can call them on the phone. But whatever you do, make sure it's systematic--or you'll diminish its effectiveness.

Here’s the system we teach our coaches to use:

Call a personal client who you believe knows, likes, and trusts you enough to answer YES to the following question: “I’m expanding my business and I need your help. Could you meet me for breakfast or lunch on Wednesday to discuss how you can help?”

When you sit down with them, ask them to think of people they know who fit your ideal prospect profile. Emphasize that this is a brainstorming session–not simply a request for referrals. As they list names, write them down.  Don’t be surprised if there are 15-20 names on the list. Then ask them to identify their “top ten.”

Starting with the last name on the list, ask, “What’s wrong with John? Why is he a #10 instead of a #1?” Whatever they say, you reply, “That’s okay. We’ll get rid of him.” Do the same thing with #9…and so on…until they say, “STOP!  The rest are good!”

Why do you ask this way? Because suddenly they become an advocate of those names! And they’re willing to introduce you to them. Arrange a time or process for your client to introduce you to these new referrals.  Then let your sales skills take over.

Reward

Once you’ve earned and asked, it’s time to reward. Whenever a referral comes in, be sure to acknowledge the client who sent them. This can take many forms. At the very least, send a hand-written thank you note. If appropriate, include a gift. Some coaches even do quarterly “referral recognition dinners” and invite all referring clients to a fancy evening out on the town.

Remember that what you acknowledge, you reinforce, and by acknowledging and rewarding customers who refer, you’re teaching them that their kindness doesn’t go unnoticed. The result will be more referrals, more consistently.

Implement a systematic EAR referral program, and you’ll grow your business faster than you ever thought possible!

Eric Dombach

About Eric Dombach

Eric Dombach is the Founder of Coaches’ Coach. In 2001, he founded a business coaching firm that, by 2005, was generating more than $1 million USD in revenue, 23% operating profit, and average annual growth rate of 140% per year. In 2005, he sold the firm to 4 of his employees for $1 million U.S. dollars, generating a return on capital of more than 800%. Since then he has trained more than 1,300 independent and franchise business coaches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australasian markets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *