Stepping stones are great things to cross streams with. They make a large distance shrink because you’re taking small steps rather than one big lunge.
Likewise when asking for client referrals, literally coming out with the ask is often too big, so adopt the stepping stone technique.
Let me explain.
- As soon as your customer enjoys your value, whatever that is, ask them for some feedback, so they can verbally tell you about the value.
- A little later on, you might want to ask if they wouldn’t mind giving you a testimonial, maybe for your website or LinkedIn profile. A slightly bigger ask, but easily done especially if you provide the words or template.
- Shortly afterwards, you might want them to work with you on a case study which highlights the benefits and value you were able to provide.
- Finally, you can then ask them for a referral, i.e. an introduction to someone in their network who also might benefit from your value.
It’s stepping stones and the theory comes from the principle of influencing called commitment and consistency…but I prefer to call it stepping stones.