Bonus Episode: Get Referrals (Without Asking!) with Stacey Brown Randall

Hey designers – we’re popping in with a special bonus episode because we KNOW you need help right now getting new clients and keeping your businesses afloat. (At least – full transparency – we do!) Stacey Brown Randall is an expert at helping small businesses flourish via referrals.

Sounds boring, but OHMYGOSH the info she shares is genius – and could be a game-changer for your business right now. Stacy is beyond generous with the knowledge and strategies she shares, and these tips will help keep your business afloat now – and continue to help you grow in the future.

Bonus Episode Show Notes

Key Takeaways:

  • [3:25] As we are in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, business tends to be slow. Big marketing moves such as paid ads and other traditional sources aren’t as effective right now. It’s a season to tap into people who already support, like, and trust you!
  • [8:37] We all approach referrals with preconceived notions. Most associate it with being pushy or obtained sporadically through gimmicks/promotions but they get a bad rap because of the ways we’ve been taught of how you get referrals
  • [9:35] A referral is the best type of prospect. They already trust you because they’ve been referred by someone they trust. They’re less price sensitive, quicker to close, and value you
  • [10:23] We confuse different sales terms about prospects – warm lead, introduction, word of mouth buzz, referrals – but they’re all actually 4 distinct categories of types of clients that show up to your business
  • [11:05] A referral has two things that the other terms don’t:
    • [11:13] Personal connection – There is always somebody who will connect you as the solutions provider to the prospect
    • [11:43] An identified need – The prospect shows up knowing they need to hire you. They come from a perspective knowing they have a problem and looking for a solution
  • [15:13] The ability to correctly label each different type of prospect is important because it informs us how to respond to the prospect in order to help the sales process happen much easier
  • [18:15] Ultimately what you want are referrals but you can learn how to convert introductions and worth of mouth buzz into referrals!
  • [21:46] If you don’t have the gift of revenue at this time, meaning business has slowed down, and you’re looking for ways to increase revenue what you should have is a little extra gift of time
  • [23:23] Know who these referral sources are. Once you find them, lean into them. This means reaching out and connecting to them. Ask them how they’re doing, if there’s anything you can do for them
  • [25:35] Referral sources can be anyone. To find these sources, dig in and recognize who has sent you previous clients before
  • [26:45] Your referral sources are the biggest assets your company has because they are sending you new clients
  • [27:17] Referral sources fall into 4 categories. The first 2 are “above the line” and you can build systems around them while the last 2 are “below the line”
    • [27:20] Clients – past or current clients, but it’s not all of them. Focus on the 20-30 percent that probably will refer you
    • [28:11] Centers of influence – small subset of your network that know what you do but are not designers themselves. They are in a position where they come across idle clients to send your way. Examples include realtors, architects, homebuilders, etc.
    • [32:27] Family and friends – people who know what you do and every once in a while come across to people they can refer to you but may be sporadic and not as consistent
    • [33:36] Strangers – people who you don’t personally know but have heard or seen great things about you and will tell people about you
  • [35:37] Mailing these referrals handwritten thank you notes will go a long way
  • [37:25] The only thing you can do at this time is to lean in to your list of referral sources. Understand who they are and ask for one simple request – how can I help you?
  • [37:49] Referral sources are only referring you because they have a relationship with you
  • [38:24] Their ultimate driver to refer someone to you is because they know someone who has a problem and for that moment, they get to help that person. Your referred because you are a solution provider
  • [40:55] Think of each one of your referral sources, whether you have 5 or 25, and think to yourself, if I were to offer help what would it look like?
  • [41:23] For example, if you’re a business owner you can reach out to other business owners and let them know that you can be a safe space for them to talk about hard decisions. You can also offer productivity tips or other resources such as webinars
  • [42:55] If your referral sources are local you can offer more personal help such as running to the store for them, etc.
  • [44:37] It’s also okay to reach out and let them know that you’re there and even though you’re not sure how exactly you can help, you will do anything to help them
  • [45:44] Don’t expect everyone to reply back and be understanding. Even though we’re all on the same boat, we’re not all weathering the same storm right now
  • [46:33] When this time is over, you have to continue taking care of your referral sources to generate more referrals
  • [48:11] Moving forward, the outreach you do to your referral sources have to be memorable, meaningful, and authentic
  • [52:43] For Stacey, these emails were personally sent one-by-one. A good simple, subject line would be “How are you?” to check in on how they’re doing
  • [53:22] Another example of a subject line would be “How can I help you? I’ve thought of 2 ways.” It’s very clear and straightforward!
  • [59:19] If there’s one thing you should check out after this episode is taking Stacey’s referral ninja quiz to help you understand in terms of your skill and ability in generating referrals. The results will give you a road map to what it looks like to get to the best level with resources on how to get there

Resources Shared



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