Client referrals: Megaphone or muffler?

When someone is referred to your business, that’s advertising dollars you don’t spend. How you handle referrals is make-or-break. KIRSTY DUNPHEY

Kirsty Dunphey

By Kirsty Dunphey

After getting back from an amazing trip to South East Asia I took some artwork from Cambodia and Vietnam in to be framed at a local store. 

I had been recommended to this particular store by not one but two of my friends, and after seeing the work they performed I know why; it was total quality and very impressive.

What surprised me though was that as I was discussing my order with them, I mentioned these two friends who had so glowingly referred me to this business. The reply I got basically amounted to “that’s nice”.

Now what they could have done in this instance was ask me one simple question, which I believe would have a lasting positive impact on their business and their bottom line. They could have asked me just who it was who had referred them.

They could have sent them a thank you card or called and thanked them personally, or sent them a discount voucher for their next framing. Something… (anything) to let them know that they appreciated the referral.

When someone refers a friend to your business, that’s advertising dollars you haven’t had to spend, because you’ve just got yourself a walking, talking billboard going around advertising your business! What you do to thank them for doing your marketing for you can act as a megaphone or a muffler. Which would you prefer?

I got turned into a megaphone when a local airline newspaper published a list of my favourite restaurants in Launceston. The savvy owner of one – Sara from the divine Novaros – sent me a gorgeous bunch of orange roses to thank me for mentioning them (and I haven’t stopped mentioning them since).


Kirsty Dunphey is one of Australia’s most publicised young entrepreneurs and is the founder of – the ultimate tool to help real estate agents write amazing advertisements. The youngest ever winner of the Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year award, Kirsty started her first business at 15, her own real estate agency at 21, was a self-made millionaire at 23 and a self-made multi-millionaire at 25. For more information on Kirsty or either of her books – Advance to Go, Collect $1 Million and Retired at 27, If I Can Do It Anyone Can, or to sign up to her weekly newsletter head to:
Kirsty has also just released her new book, Peacock Feathers – free to download here.

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