The referral game: Don’t leave money on the table.

How to ask for referrals and grow your business.

As someone who has navigated the complexities of growing a business, I understand the pivotal role of referrals in driving success. Throughout my career, I've learned invaluable lessons, especially about the power of referrals in the professional world of accounting and financial planning. 

According to a study by Nielsen, 84% of Australian consumers trust recommendations from family and friends. This demonstrates a significant untapped potential in referrals. But why is it that practitioners hesitate to ask for referrals? Is it the fear of seeming pushy or needy, desperate even? I once faced this dilemma, and I soon realised that clients are more than happy to refer you to their networks if they trust and value your services. 

Reflections and Realisations 

Reflecting on my career, I always had a clear plan and vision. I focused on building strong teams and processes, and I focused on working with ideal clients. What I mean by ideal clients are clients who were willing to pay our fees and who valued the work we delivered.  

If there's one thing I wish I had done differently, it would be to focus deliberately on referrals much earlier. Over the years, I experimented with numerous marketing strategies, only to realise that focusing on referrals was the simplest and most effective way to consistently achieve 10-15% annual growth with ideal clients. I learned that homing in on generating ideal client referrals from the start was key instead of scattering my efforts across various marketing tactics. This approach not only saved time but also ensured quality client growth. 

Effective Strategies for Asking Referrals 

So, how can you replicate this success? First, it's about providing exceptional service and results. Ensure that you're not just meeting but exceeding your client's expectations. Identify your ideal clients and focus on those most satisfied with your service. The timing and manner of asking for referrals are crucial too. Wait until you've established a strong rapport and your clients have seen tangible results from your service. Be natural, respectful, and specific when asking. 

What can you do? 

Want to start today? I’d recommend you start by assessing your approach to referrals. We have created a client referral guide to help you assess your current referral strategy and identify the areas where you can immediately improve.  


You can streamline your marketing efforts and achieve consistent growth by focusing on referrals. Remember, it's not just about growing fast; it's about growing sustainability.

Client referrals guide

How to ask for client referrals.

Download the Guide to Client Referrals to learn more.

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Next Steps: How Slipstream Can Help

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, book a 15-minute chat or a complimentary Strategy Session with one of our consultants.


“Do well by doing good” is a personal philosophy also at the core of Paul Little’s professional motto. His greatest satisfaction comes from sharing what he’s learned with clients and watching them succeed. Paul focuses on setting goals, exceeding them, being proactive in ongoing relationships and developing a ‘no surprises’ policy around communication so clients feel they are partners working towards the same outcomes.

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