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9 Modern Ways to Solicit Referrals

Uncategorized Jul 27, 2019

If you’ve ever tried a new restaurant because a friend recommended it, you have experienced word of mouth marketing. It’s the best kind there is. The first-hand experience with the product, delivered by someone you know and like, is a 1-2 power punch.

Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions, especially when considering a first time buy or something relatively expensive.

 Offering an incentive for a referral is critical because only 29 percent who have a positive experience will actually recommend it to others. (

A lot goes into a successful referral program, NOT least of which is timing. Ask for the participation right after the service, when they are still amazed with your professional service.

Here are a few simple, and not so simple, referral program ideas. If all else fails, money talks.

  1. Offer Cash
  2. Offer Dinner Certificate Partner with a local restaurant and ask for 50% off to buy in bulk.
  3. Mail a special offer letter from the customer to his neighbors. Insert a coupon. (hand-signed and hand-addressed)
  4. Offer 100% investment back (this one takes some cojones) – first referral with install earns 5% of their investment back, then higher % with each referral, until they earn 100% back. This program can be a HUGE selling point in the sales process. It’s not for a company that lowballs to earn the job.
  5. Provide Referral Cards – Leave exclusive offer cards with every customer. They add their name (so they get credit when it is redeemed) and hand them out.
  6. In-depth digital platforms – Software like and have several options and are better for larger companies.
  7. Digital Shares – Run a one-day contest on Facebook. Offer a prize for the most SHARES of your offer.
  8. Coupon Share – Ask customers to post a photo and your offer on their social media.  "Here's our new AC - and now you can take advantage of the same offer I did."
  9. Friends & Family Discount – After every install, email an exclusive offer for the customer to forward to others.


Wendy Burrell

Since 2009, Wendy has been developing marketing strategies to help residential HVAC companies gain and retain customers. Wendy Burrell is Founder of HVAC Profit Vault, a library of done-for-you HVAC marketing, social media, news letters. Contact [email protected] and visit


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