Asking for referrals is the difference between the average salesperson and the superstar. It can be intimidating to ask a customer or prospect for a referral, but it is key to keeping your sales pipeline full. Below are some of our top tips on getting more referrals.
- Ask for simple introductions but know your ideal customer. Don’t add pressure by making it seem like a formal interaction, instead, ask for an introduction to a person who fits the characteristics of your preferred or ideal buyer. Making the referral project casual, but specific, allows you to ask more easily, and also makes it easier for the customer to provide a referral.
- Give as many referrals as you hope to get. If you can give a referral, it opens the door to ask for one as well. Plus, if you give referrals, it makes people feel happier and better about working with you, and therefore, makes them more likely to happily offer referrals to those in their professional network.
- Make it as easy as possible for your customer. Keep your ask specific – make sure they have an easy way to share your information, and a clear idea of who would be good to share it with. If you can make it easier for the customer, it limits the chance that they will say no or not have time to actually give the referral after you ask for one.
- Time your ask appropriately. Pay attention to when you ask for a referral. Time it to be after they express satisfaction with your services, or after you’ve successfully delivered on promises you made in your sales presentation.
- Say “Thank you.” If a customer does provide a referral, even if it doesn’t turn into a sale, be sure to say thank you to them. Showing that you are grateful for the time and effort they put in to giving that referral will make them more likely to give future referrals.