A referral from a loyal client who recommends your products or services to others beats having to cold call prospective clients and should form an integral part of every business owner’s marketing plan.
The number one reason why people don’t get referrals is that they don’t ask for them, says Mark Keating, CEO and founder of SalesGuru, a sales training and development company.
“The number two reason is they are sabotaging their success by the way they ask. There are several things to consider and to follow that will increase the number of referrals you can receive.”
This could just be a great sales experience for the buyer until this point.
Examples of what you can say could include the following:
“Thanks for your support, not just of the company, but to me personally it means a lot. Can I ask how has you experience with my service been to date?”
“Can I ask for your assistance? The majority of people that I assist like you are introduced to me by my customers like you once they have experienced my service.”
“Would you be open to introducing me to three people in your network that [input the outcome that you achieve for your clients].'”
Ask if they would be open to emailing the below script to their referrals and copying you in the email. You will only contact the referrals once they have received the email.
Say something like “Thanks and it’s much appreciated. In my experience, these people appreciate being introduced by you prior to me calling them.”
Here is an example of an introduction email: John meet Mark – Mark meet John. John, I don’t generally introduce many people but Mark has been assisting me with [input what it is] and I know you are always looking for great ideas that work. I highly recommend having a cup of coffee together and allowing him to share a few ideas with you. You won’t be disappointed. Best Regards, X
And understand that not everyone is a fit for you.
Provide feedback to the person who has referred you.
I feel the best time to ask is on the conclusion of the sale or upon delivery. People will mostly refer you or not based on their experience with you.
And often it’s the very last thing (if ever) that salespeople bring up at the end of the meeting as they are leaving.
It’s either you are begging in a subservient tone “I was wondering if umm, you might possibly be able to umm give me some names…” or are perceived as arrogant, “I want you to give me 10 names of people that…”. Both of these options are doing you a disservice.
Be as specific as you can be about the type of person you are looking to get referred to.
Only getting a name, number and not being introduced to them by the referral is not very helpful. There is little difference between this and a cold call.