Socrates was a Classical Greek philosopher, considered one of the founders of Western philosophy. Principally renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, Socrates also lends his name to the concept of the Socratic Method, a style of teaching in which a series of questions are asked not only to draw individual answers, but to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand. (

Basically, Socrates asked a lot of questions, commonly answering a question with a question to probe deeper into a given topic. Today, entrepreneurs can benefit from the nature of Socrates by asking relevant questions (to themselves and to others) and discovering answers that significantly impact the direction of their business and boost their success.

What questions should you ask? When it comes to referrals, let’s begin with these…

Are you giving business referrals to the people you meet but not getting many or any referrals?

Do you have a growing list of customers who seem thrilled with your products and services but you struggle to generate referrals from them?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to the above questions, the next logical question is “WHY?”

The easiest way to get referrals is to ask for them! I know, I know… it sounds simple and seems obvious enough but, many professionals fail to simply ask for referrals.

There are many reasons why…

- Some people feel uncomfortable asking.
- Others assume their clients and colleagues understand what they do and that they will eventually refer business.
- Others have been told that asking for referrals will make them appear weak or desperate for business.
- Some simply don’t know how to ask for referrals.
- And the list goes on…

The truth is that sometimes asking isn’t simple at all. The key is to learn how to ask for what you need in a way that feels comfortable to you and to the person you’re speaking to.

Here are a few tips to make asking for referrals easier and more effective…

- When asking for referrals, be specific. Remember the phrase “Who do you know who…” i.e. If you’re a massage therapist you may ask “Who do you know that spends a lot of time gardening in the spring?

- But don’t leave it there… tell them WHY someone who gardens in the spring needs your services… i.e. “They’re often on their knees and bending over which causes a lot of strain on muscles they haven’t used since last spring. A massage will help to alleviate any muscle pain and lessen the likelihood of serious injury” or whatever the reason may be.

- Never ambush a new client or colleague by asking for referrals in your first meeting… Referrals take time because trust is required. This would be like a marriage proposal on a first date… NOT a good idea ;)

- Nurture your relationships by GIVING value to them. Trust that what goes around comes around. Focus on helping others and in time, help will come to you as well. If you’d like to become a bigger giver of referrals remember the phrase “Who’s helping you with that?” So when you hear someone mention a need, ask them… “Who’s helping you with that?” You may find yourself standing in the middle of a referral that you can pass along to a trusted colleague or client.

- Remember that not all referrals are created equally. Many professionals think of referrals only as potential business but there are many other needs you may have that if fulfilled, can boost your success… such as introductions to prominent people; information that is critical to a project or client proposal; exposure; resources and more. Your network may be able to help in all of these areas… the key is to know what you need and be willing to ask for it.

So consider taking a lesson from Socrates and start asking for the things you need to increase your business, like referrals. Or maybe what you really need is to ask for further advice and guidance to develop and strengthen your networking and relationship building skills? Ask and it is yours absolutely free at Go there now and discover strategies that really work and feel right too!

Author's Bio: 

Affectionately labeled a “marketing smarty-pants” by those who know her best; Gina’s passion is to work with motivated entrepreneurs who are ready to identify and eliminate their resistance to self-promotion and success. Magnetic self-marketing principles; creative no and low cost marketing strategies and success planning from the inside out serve to create an authentic marketing focus that motivates both the entrepreneur and their prospects to take action.

Gina is the President and Founder/co-Founder of three entrepreneurial organizations: The Divapreneurs; The Networking Masters and SOHO Success Network; co-Host of the weekly SOHO Radio Show; creator of the transformational SMART Marketing Makeovers for Daring Divapreneurs coaching program and contributing author to the newest book in the wildly popular Power of Mentorship series called “The Power of Mentorship for the Home Based Business”.

An advocate of life-long learning and mentorship, Gina’s personal mantra is “Get Inspired, Be Inspiring!”

Are you’re ready to turn your business around? Gain instant access to additional FREE tips and advice at The Networking Masters” where Gina is giving away – for FREE – her newest audio CD called “Self-Marketing Demystified”. Get ready to bust common personal marketing myths that may be holding you back from the results you want and the success you deserve!