When someone sends you a referral what do you do?

If referrals help your business, develop a process to keep them coming your way.

Whether it’s from an existing client or a professional connection, make it a habit to thank your referral source.

Is a text or email thank you acceptable?

In today’s world of instant communication, using text or email to thank someone can be acceptable.

It depends on your referral source.

Some of my referral sources prefer a traditional handwritten thank-you note. But most of my referral sources find email thank you messages acceptable.

I rarely thank someone via text – mainly because my industry is regulated and does not encourage the use of text messaging.

If you want to stand out, send a handwritten thank you note. It’s rare for people to take the time to write one.

What do I write?

When writing a thank you email or note, write more than “thank you!”

Express your appreciation of the referral source thinking of you. Let them know you appreciate their vote of confidence.

Bottom line – be sincere.

What if someone sends me several referrals?

If you have a referral source who sends several referrals to you, decide if you send them a gift or take them to lunch.

You’re building a long-term relationship with this referral source. If you treat them with gratitude, then they will continue to send you referrals.

What if the referral isn’t a good match for my business?

If you tell someone they sent a bad referral, they will stop sending any referrals to you.

Think of the referral as a lead. Your job is to screen that lead and decide whether it’s a viable prospect for your business.

It’s not up to your referral source to do this job for you.

The next time you meet with your referral source, share more information about your business or ideal client to help educate them about what you do.

Is it too late to send a thank you note?

Business can become hectic and a week can go by quickly. Most people recognize this reality.

It’s never too late to thank someone for helping you grow your business.

When connections send you a referral, take time to thank them. They will appreciate it.

And, it may encourage them to send you more referrals.

Stay PEF (positive, enthusiastic, and focused) and make 2023 your best year ever!

(Update to original post from May 17, 2017)


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing  comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”