Referrals are generated most often due to the excellent work of your team of passionate people, not because someone asked for a referral. And, the more loyal and passionate your team is, the more referrals seem to magically come into your business.
I have observed many firms attempt to create loyalty and inspiration for excellent work amongst their staff. The problem: loyalty and passion are not something you can force upon people or manufacture.
The Hawthorne Effect (study by Harvard), and almost all research conducted on workforce development have suggested that the way you create a loyal and inspired workforce is through changing the way employees feel about the organization, not by requiring them to do things that already loyal people would be inclined to do.
Studies done over the past 100 years have shown that the time and attention individually paid to employees and a valuation of their work through compensation and acknowledged appreciation produces a more loyal team. It causes them to value the work they are doing, like their place of employment and who they are working for and inspires them to give of themselves in a way that isn’t required.
As the Hawthorne Effect found, changing the lights in your office because you believe this will increase the productivity of your workers may not actually increase productivity over the long-term. However, caring enough about the best interest of your people and letting them know that you are changing the lighting for them may have an impact. It is a subtle difference.
Are you getting regular referrals from your clients? It could be that changing up the ways you appreciate your employees will go a long way in cultivating a strong team of passionate and loyal people who ultimately impact your new business in very powerful ways.