Let’s say you just did an awesome job with an installation, and everything is running amazingly well. You were punctual, polite. Your price was great. And your customer seems pleased. So, you’re definitely going to get a good referral or two, right?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Referrals are a great way to get business, especially since prospects often favor word of mouth input from someone they know over a well-written ad. But what can be confusing is your customer’s reluctance to get involved in spreading the news of your awesomeness among their friends and kin.

So, why wouldn’t your customer want to give you a referral?

For our answer, let’s summon a roundup of qualities called “human nature.” A customer may not want the responsibility of recommending a big-ticket improvement, perhaps. What if something goes wrong? What if a different person provides the service and it doesn’t go as well? There’s risk involved.

Also, anyone may be glad to offer the name of the contractor they’ve used if their friend asks, “Who have you used?” But volunteering that info out of the blue is outside the typical conversation range: “How was your weekend? By the way, when you’re in the market for contracting services, you should call my company.”

To ask for a referral, don’t just ask, “Is there anyone you know?” Narrow the field in a logical way. Maybe: “All the homes in this neighborhood are about the same age. Is there a neighbor who may be facing the same issues who would be interested in this service?”

Another option: Give your customer a gift to give their friend, such as a discount referral coupon (or several). If any of the friends use this discount, the original customer gets a rebate or future discount.