Published: December 10th, 2014

Referrals are the best source for qualified leads for any MSP. Are you leveraging them to their fullest extent?

A lot of MSPs don’t really take advantage of referrals. Do you have a system for getting referrals for your business, not only from your clients but from other business associates and even friends? Or do you just hope that someone will mention how great you are in passing?

You’ve got to ASK for referrals if you’re ever going to get enough.

Sure, it can be a little intimidating to say to a client, “Would you tell everyone how awesome I am?” It might feel presumptuous or cocky, and you might run the risk of finding out that your client isn’t actually all that impressed with your work.

But suck it up. You’ve got to stand behind your service and demonstrate that you believe in the value you’re delivering. It’s not cocky or arrogant to ask that your clients talk you up if you’ve actually been providing the service to warrant it. And if you haven’t been, it’s better that you find out by asking, rather than when they ditch you to go over to your competition.

So the first step to leveraging referrals for lead generation is to get yourself into the right mindset for asking for them. The rest of it is about having an actual system for generating referrals. A little bit of planning and discipline will go a long way to making this an integral part of your marketing process.

  1. Implement asking for referrals as part of your sales process.

The absolute best time to ask for a referral is after you’ve managed to wow someone. When does that happen? Usually right after you’ve shown off how great you are and sealed the deal for a new contract.

You should ensure that the final step of your sales process is to ask for a referral from your new client. Make sure you’ve begun to deliver on your promises and show why it was a good choice to partner with you, and then take advantage of that goodwill to get your name out there. Your new partner is already more likely to talk about you to people because it’s a new service; asking for a referral will only improve your chances.

  1. Regularly ask for referrals from existing clients.

For one thing, you should be in regular touch with all your clients. Constant communication is key to maintaining the goodwill that’s so vital to an ongoing relationship with a client. And part of touching base with them should be to ask them to spread your name around. It’s not as easy as that initial wow-stage when you first started off together, but if you’ve continued to provide value year after year for a company, they should be able to sing your praises. Just ask them to do it.

  1. Get involved in community events and ask for referrals from your new friends.

Get out there and start participating in your community. Attend trade shows, sponsor charity events, talk at your Chamber of Commerce, and get involved with business associations. When you make connections with the other people attending, ask them to spread your name around. Even if they themselves aren’t in the market for an MSP, they are the most likely culprits to know someone who IS. If you’ve done worthwhile work in your community with these people, they will consider you trustworthy and will be likely to tell their associates so. Again, you’ve just got to ask.

  1. Utilize your friends and online business networks.

How many contacts do you have built up on Facebook and LinkedIn? Are they just friends, or are they other business owners or executives? Do you leverage the amazing resource right in front of you?

A lot of people just build up big networks on social media and they never DO anything with those contacts. You should be reaching out to the people you connect with to see both how you can help them and how they can help you. Offer useful information on your blogs and social media platforms, make a name for yourself as someone who knows what they’re doing, and then ask your contacts to spread your name around.

Ulistic provides marketing services to managed services providers. The Ulistic team acts as part of your team, engaging and working with your MSP each day to assist in providing the foundation for stratospheric success. Learn more at Ulistic.com.