With Referrals

Loyal clients come back to us year after year.  The value of any one client goes up with their satisfaction.  Happy clients return more often and purchase more.

Our reputation depends on loyal customers.  One happy client will tell another person.  One unhappy client will tell a thousand.  Happy customers are the cornerstone of your business.

The secret to lifelong, loyal clients:

  • Listen
  • Over Deliver
  • Premium Quality
  • Service, service, service
  • Guarantee
  • Keep in touch

“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.” Ken Blanchard


Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.


Your first opportunity to please your customer is to listen.

Listen…don’t think about what you can sell them …listen to what they are saying so you can fill a need. Ask the right questions to promote conversation that clarifies their needs. Listen to what they are saying.

Problem solve with them. If you listen, you are now in a position to make the decision based on your understanding of what your customer needs.

How to:

  • Ask questions
  • Take notes
  • Clear your head of everything but them and their needs.


over deliver

Always give your customer more than what they paid for. If you always exceed their expectations, you will have a satisfied customer.

It is important that you differentiate between your expectations and your client’s expectations.

Finally, know your product. Be the expert in what you are doing so you can answer any question they have…or know where to go to find the answer.

How to:

  • Added value – sell a car? Fill it with gas
  • Sell a coaching program? Add in an older valuable program

premium quality

Never, ever sell anything that is inferior. Your product must always be the best of the best. If you sell an inferior product, you will always leave yourself open to complaints. Even if you warranty the product, you have created a problem for the client to fix. You should be making their life easier. Don’t ever cut quality to cut price.

How to:

  • Stick with vendors and products you know and trust
  • Make sure your program or offering has been tested and retested and clean up any problems
  • If you discover a problem, take it off the shelf until it’s fixed


“Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” Donald Porter, V.P. British Airways


service, service, service

Our product may be impeccable, our offering may be in the forefront of technology, but if you don’t treat your customers well, none of that matters. The service you provide will determine customer satisfaction. Everything you do should be aimed at satisfying your client.

How to:

  • Return phone calls quickly
  • Listen • Deliver on time
  • Deliver gracefully
  • Ask about satisfaction
  • Welcome complaints and deal with them quickly


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Bill Gates



You should decide on your guarantee. It is important that you stand behind your product. A client will choose a vendor with a good warranty over another with the same product. A warranty can be an incentive to buy. Your reputation is based on your ability to stand behind your product.

How to:

  • Make your guarantee available and very clear
  • Stand behind your guarantee, regardless of cost
  • Give your customer the benefit of the doubt
  • Tell your customer thank you for the opportunity to remedy the problem.


“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” John Russell, President, Harley Davidson


keep in touch

Communication after the sale is just as important as before and during the sale. Your customer may remember what they bought from you, but it is likely that, after time, they forget who they bought it from. Remind them.

How to:

  • Send a thank you
  • Follow up to clarify any concerns and bask in your success
  • Send them new information and tips on a regular basis
  • Great ways to keep in touch are newsletters, postcards, email, blogs
  • Social Media, if you don’t yet have a presence in social media, it is time


ask for a referral

It’s THAT easy.  Happy customers like to help.  They consider telling their friends, relatives, peers, coworkers as a way to help them.  If you’ve done everything above to make sure they got more than they expected from you (in a good way), then they like to help you build your business too.

How to:

  • Just ask
  • Send them a note to tell them how their referral is doing
  • Send them a thank you  for the referral
  • Do everything above, if you don’t, they won’t want to give you the referral


Do you have a membership in your business?  Throw a “Referral Party”  offer a prize or reward for every existing member who brings in a new member.  That is what we’ll be doing for all our Inner Circle Members this week!

For every existing member who brings in a new member, we’ll have a special gift for the existing member as well as the new member! Celebrate with us!


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  1. Christie Miller

    Excellent blog Cathy. Serving (as opposed to selling) is all about meeting our clients where they’re at. One size does not fit all and when we can truly listen to their needs we are best able to serve.

  2. Lynne Wadsworth

    Super content Cathy. Some very valid and motivating advice and content. Thanks, we all need to remember we are serving and should be listening to our clients.

    • Cathy

      Exactly! Coming from a place of service is always a winner.

  3. Candess M Campbell

    So many great ideas Cathy! Getting organized to stay connected is so important. I like sending cards to my clients occasionally which is fun and I am sure they enjoy it. Giving excellent service is so important to building relationship and business.

    • Cathy

      Great point. If you don’t organize and plan, you usually don’t do it.

  4. Lori English

    A very good article you really laid the foundation down about how to get referrals. It’s about our clients not about us we are in business to serve others and help them solve their issues. great article.

    Lori English

    • Cathy

      Sooo true Lori, If we were to make a list of all the businesses we love and go back to as well as refer — it’s the ones that treat us better than we expect.

      • Lori English

        Definitely there are so many ways to make our businesses thrive. Thanks for your good article and I see you are hiring coaches, is this correct?

        Lori English

  5. Katarina Andersson

    Good article :-), a lot of tips…I agree it is always important to listen to the client and to as for referrals.

  6. Tamuria

    Great tips for keeping happy customers and getting referrals. Word of mouth is everything these days and it’s vital to keep your clients/customers happy.

  7. Susan Mary Malone

    I love beautiful things as well, Cathy–they do help us to engage more, no? And engaging is what brings customers to us as well.

  8. Reba Linker

    Really terrific, Cathy. We read beauty, whether or not we are aware of it. By being ahead of the curve on that you created a fantastic response for your services. Well done!

  9. Robin

    As the saying goes . . Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And if you want someone beholdin to you, then you have to allow them to see beauty in you. And beauty is just not physical – it is actions as well.

  10. Teresa Salhi

    So much more fun to get a referral from someone – it makes you feel so special! Thanks for tips on how to keep this going!

  11. Alene Geed

    I love the quote from Bill Gates. Most unhappy customers are the greatest source of learning..and I would add client satisfaction and earning. I jump in to solve any complaint and have created loyalty beyond what would be possible otherwise

  12. Beverley Golden

    Fabulous tips in your post, Cathy! Yes, referrals from happy customers are the best way to keep growing your business. What I find fascinating about the health arena, is I often listen to what people are saying about a desire to improve their health etc., and yet when it comes to them saying ‘yes’ to themselves, that is another thing altogether. Very often they say one thing, yet don’t do what they say they want. I have also heard that people need to see something or hear something seven times, before they take action. This surprises me although it is most likely true, as I believe I am someone who acts immediately if something resonates and feels right. As far as all your other points, I would like to believe I have them all covered. There is always room for improvement and keeping consistent is key. Thanks for the wonderful reminders in this post!

  13. Jennifer Quisenberry @ The Awesome Muse

    Thank you notes are so valuable! I’ve closed deals in the past based on the fact that I was the first one to send a handwritten thank you note to them in years. The niceties really go a long way.

  14. Joyce Hansen

    All excellent points, Cathy. The one I like best is exceeding expectations. If we start with the expectations of the customer and exceed them, then we’ve created a memorable experience they will be open to our next offer and share with others.


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