How To Get Referrals From Your
Friends & Acquaintances
(Without Annoying Them!)
If you’re like most of the health coaches I speak to, you’re probably wondering what you can do right away to get clients.
An easy place to start is with the people you already know and interact with.
This is what I call “organic networking” – networking that you do as you go about your daily activities.
Good news: No power suits required!
I’m guessing that most days, you interact with people you know as well as with people you’re meeting for the first time.
Whether it’s picking up your kids from school, going to a yoga class, doing a bit of work in a cafe, or going for a glass of wine with your girlfriends, there are many opportunities to strike up a conversation about what you do.
Talking about what you do is a great way to not only get clients but also get referrals. Referrals can come from friends, family and the people you meet with every day – as long as they know what you do, who you help, and how.
Organic networking is a lot more natural (and less scary!) than traditional networking, but you might still worry that it will be awkward.
After all, you don’t want to be THAT person … you know, the one that’s constantly trying to sell to their family and friends.
It’s a fine balance, but the truth is… you’re probably overthinking it.
So that you can make the most of this powerful strategy, I’m sharing the most common mistakes I see when it comes to getting referrals from your existing network.
Mistakes health coaches make when it comes to organic networking
Mistake #1: Not talking about what you do
The biggest mistake health coaches make when it comes to organic networking, hands down, is not talking about what they do.
Just like with traditional networking, the thought of it all can make us clam up and feel awkward. Or for some of us, we feel overcome with shyness about our business and we just don’t talk about it.
This is a big mistake because the truth is that a lot of people you know and meet may be very interested in wellness. And a lot of those people could probably use your help! (or maybe they know someone who could).
And honestly, being a health coach is a really interesting job! A lot of people don’t even realize it is a job, so when you tell them what you do they’ll be intrigued and want to know more.
One of the first questions people ask when they meet someone new is “So, what do you do?”
Every time someone asks you this, you have the opportunity to tell them who you help and how.
Even if you think that person isn’t interested in health or isn’t your ideal client, you never know who they know!
Mistake #2: Not paying attention when someone seems interested
Ok, you’ve gotten over your shyness and struck up a conversation with another mom at the playground. You’ve told her what you do and she says something like “oh, I could use that!” with a little chuckle.
It’s easy to dismiss that as a passing comment or that the person is just being nice, but that type of comment – “oh, I could use that!” – is really code that they are a potential client!
Like I said, a lot of people are very interested in health and wellness, but they don’t really know where to begin. They might be looking for someone just like you, but they didn’t even know you existed before this very conversation.
So instead of ignoring this, when someone shows interest, even in a subtle way, you want to take notice and show interest in them.
There’s no need for a hard sell. You also want to avoid conducting a coaching session in the middle of a social situation.
Instead, let them know you’d be glad to chat with them more when there are no distractions. Swap phone numbers and follow-up later that day.
Mistake #3: Worrying about being too pushy
We all know THAT person – the one that won’t stop talking about themselves. Whenever you talk to them you barely get a word in and you feel like you’re being sold a used car!
I know that you aren’t that person. I’m not that person either. But sometimes I still worry that if I talk about myself and my business, I might come across as pushy or annoying. I’m afraid friends might start to think I’m one of THOSE people.
The truth is, as long as you’re asking questions along the way, you probably aren’t being pushy!
Of course, if someone looks uncomfortable, it might be time to change the subject. But if the other person is engaged in the conversation, then by all means keep sharing!
And remember – your knowledge is very valuable and people are interested in it.
The takeaway – don’t be too shy to talk about yourself and share your knowledge. You never know who you ‘ll meet that could use your services or send their mom/husband/cousin/next door neighbor your way.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
When you meet people in everyday situations, are you using the opportunity to start conversations about your business? If not, what’s holding you back?