Digital Marketing

How To Generate Word Of Mouth Referrals – Almost On Demand…

When it comes to growing your business, getting referrals and word-of-mouth can be one of the most powerful and easiest ways to bring in great new clients. 

This is because referrals generally come from a trusted source – so it’s far easier to turn new referral leads into paying customers. (Read more on building trust online here.) 

But depending on word-of-mouth comes with one big problem: It’s incredibly unreliable. 

One month you might have a dozen referrals, and the next – none! 

So that begs the question: 

How do you generate word-of-mouth referrals on a consistent basis? 

In this blog you’ll learn how to finally take control your word of mouth marketing, and turn into something you can turn on and off like a switch. 

Why Don’t My Customers Talk About Me? 

Referrals from customers can be extremely powerful – but despite your best efforts, nobody’s talking! 

Don’t worry – it’s not your fault. 

The reason most people don’t talk about your business isn’t malicious – they’re just forgetful or don’t know what to say.  

This training will help you solve both issues for your clients, PLUS you’ll learn how to increase word of mouth online as well as in person. 

Here’s why most people don’t talk about your business: 

  1. They’ve got no reason to 
  1. They’ve got nothing interesting to say, or don’t know what to say about you 
  1. They don’t remember you  

Giving them a “reason why” 

The best way to increase referrals from customers is to give your customers a reason to talk about you!  

“Reasons why” break down to a few options: 

  • Incentives, Giveaways, or raffles  
  • Stellar experiences or so called “rave reviews” 
  • Give your clients something to say that makes THEM look smart or interesting  


Incentives are pretty self-explanatory. The “reason why” for a user to talk about you is some kind of incentive. This appeals to their own self-interest (people rarely do anything for anyone other than themselves) and encourages them to share about your business to receive the incentive.  

This could be something like a discount on future services, a prize or small trinket, an entry into a raffle. You can even partner with other local businesses to create joint incentives that build both of your businesses. 

word of mouth referrals

In order to qualify for the incentive, tell your users to take some action that helps you grow. This could be sharing your newest product on social media, sending you user-generated content that you can promote, or directly referring friends or family members to consult with you. 

Want a system that incentivizes client referrals for you, which you can implement in 2 hours or less? Click here to check out 2 Hours to Scale.

Stellar Experiences or “Rave Reviews” 

When a user has a stellar experience, they’re FAR more likely to talk about you and your business. This is especially true if the experience you give them is different from anything they’ve ever experienced before. 

For example: When was the last time your dentist gave you a tour of their facility, pointing out their best or most recently updated equipment? Probably never – right? An experience like that would stand out in the customers mind and make them FAR more likely to talk about you! 

Make your clients look smart or interesting: 

This could come in many forms, but the goal is to simply enable your customer to start conversations with their friends or family, that eventually lead back to you. 

  • For example – are there any fun facts, or little know tid-bits that clients always find interesting? Start including those facts in conversations with ALL of your clients, and watch the referrals roll in. Give them a “fun fact” that they can share at parties, a joke they can tell online, or anything else that makes them look smarter, funnier, or of a higher status. 

This works because it increases your client’s status, their perceived value, amongst their friends, coworkers, or family. When someone knows something that others don’t, and can start and maintain interesting conversations, they’re far more likeable and perceived as a leader. This perception makes your clients feel GREAT – which then makes them feel great about you. It also enables them to start conversations that eventually lead back to your products or services. 

Giving them something interesting to say: 

This is related to making your clients look smart or interesting, and has several facets: 

  1. Create helpful tips for your clients to pass on to friends/family  

The goal with this is to create a moment where the clients say “Guess what I learned from my [SERVICE] today?”. This starts conversations about you and your business. 

  1. End with a word of mouth CTA such as “Share this with your friends and family who are spending too much time [DOING THING YOU HELP WITH]” 

Having a specific “Call To Action” (CTA) makes your customers far more likely to follow up. This gives your clients something to talk about, and leads back to your business. 

  1. Make it EASY for users to talk about you 

In conversation and client onboarding, start including “We’re known for” statements. This could be anything from how you serve your clients to how convenient your location or services are – but lets customers associate this benefit with your company, and helps them talk about you in conversation. 

In order to make it even easier for clients to talk about you, give them your clients a special URL, easy to remember phone number, or google search. Ex: “Just go to” or “Just google Specialty Seattle vet, we’re the first result!” (If you’re not the first result, contact us and we can help with that). 

They don’t remember you: 

Lastly – what if your clients simply don’t remember you at the right time?  

There’s a few things you can do to stay top of mind. 

First: Follow up with them & remind your customers about you and your services! This can be done through a monthly (Or weekly) newsletter, consistent posting on social media, and even follow up phone calls where appropriate. 

You can also use what I like to call a “trigger phrase” when asking for referrals. This helps your customers associate a specific phrase or topic with your business, and gives them something to say.  

For example – a vet clinic might tell potential referral sources: “The next time you hear from a friend or family member that their dog is limping, tell them to reach out to Steve’s vet clinic by googling “Steves Seattle Vet Clinic” – we’re the first result”. 

The important piece here is the specificity. “When you hear a family member say ___, Tell them to ___”. Where the blanks would be filled with a specific, common problem you solve, and how to find you. 

Building word of mouth online: 

How do you do all of this online? With social distancing in full effect, people are talking to others far less in person, but talking a whole lot more online! 

I hear this from professionals all the time “𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦, 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘩!” 

There’s a big reason for this: TRUST. 

In order to build word of mouth referrals online – you need to build TRUST online with your customers.  We wrote about this topic in another blog which you can find here

Creating your own sales & referral system can be tough, and takes a lot of work. That’s why we created “2 Hours to Scale”, the only system that helps you create your own Invisible Sales team that does 90% of your selling for you.

Check out 2 Hours to Scale here, and get started creating your sales system in 2 hours or less.