Referrals and word-of-mouth are a substantial and very important part of your business. With that said, answer this question:


Do you have a formal referral system in place?


Most don’t! They rely on “Hope” to get referrals for their business. They give no thought to having a system in place to generate them. The best part about referrals is how these customers come favorably predisposed to you. And they usually will refer even more profitable business to you. 


We’ve always been taught that if our job quality and our customer service are good, then referrals will automatically occur. Sorry, it’s just not going to happen that easily.


Of course, assuming you provide a decent service to your clients, you will gather a few haphazard referrals, but to increase your referrals, you need a formal and proactive system. It would help if you had a way to compel customers to happily provide their friends, neighbors, or business associates’ names and addresses to you, and then a systematized way to compel these referred prospects to do business with you. And by the way, a little note printed on your invoices or business card that says something like “we appreciate referrals” just won’t cut it.

There are two groups of people that you should consistently ask for referrals. The first group is your customers, and the second group is your ‘circle of influence.’ We are going to focus on the first group. Your customers are the most obvious and best group to ask for referrals because they have experienced your services and have first-hand knowledge of how your business delivers. 

Perhaps the simplest way to harvest referrals from your customers is to write a simple letter or email asking them for their help. This letter should become part of your system and should go out like clockwork. The best time to send out this letter is immediately upon completion of a job. If you provide repeatable services such as window cleaning or pressure washing, then asking your customers for referrals should be part of your overall marketing plan. 

The letter can be something like this:

Subject Line: Thank You. Free Coupons for You!

Hello [customer name], 

This is just a quick email to say Thank You for the opportunity to be of service to you. We value our customers and truly appreciate your business. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at. We look forward to seeing you again soon. 

One of the ways our business has grown and continues to grow is through customer referrals. We LOVE referrals. Can you think of anyone that may be in need of our service? If so, we promise to take really good care of them and as a thank you we will send you some “coupons” as our way of saying thanks. Our services include:

  • Window Cleaning
  • House Washing
  • Pressure Washing

We hope to hear from you or someone you know…soon. 

Credit: Frank Rave

But we do more than just a letter. A system has several components in place to generate impact. Here’s how we do it…

1. The letter goes out by physical mail, like the one above.

2. An email goes out within 24 hours of service – completely automated, asking for a referral. Not only that, but the referrer also gets a bonus of 10% of the job. 

3. In the email is a link to a landing page on my website that lets the customer insert the potential customer’s name (the referred) to save $25 as a first-time customer if they use our services. It’s a built-out automated sequence.

4. An “after the job” call is dialed, letting the customer “softly-without-a-hard-sell” know that We Love Referrals…. and if they know someone, we’d love to hear from them, etc.

5. After the job, documentation is left with the customer stating that they may never have to pay for window cleaning again. It’s a micro-system we use that is VERY EFFECTIVE!

Here’s the magic. All of these are working together simultaneously after we serve the customer at the highest level. Highest-level means world-class service components that the customer will never forget. This… is how we make referrals work… to the tune of 6-figures a year. It’s a system.

Establishing a formalized and systematic referral system is crucial. Many window cleaners confuse word-of-mouth advertising with generating referrals. Don’t make this same mistake and miss out on another powerful and effective way of growing your business!

Are you in business for a while and losing traction? Give me 45 minutes, and I will find your business another $100,000 to $250,000 without you spending an extra dime on advertising – waiting for you as fast as you can make it. It’s just one of many strategies I teach. Go to to learn more and opt-in for my free 24-page business building report.


Jim DuBois is founder of a high-level, window cleaning business coaching company. Email [email protected] or call 704-660-0919 for more information.