DO REFERRALS DROP IN YOUR LAP?
You’re either rolling your eyes, laughing out loud, or wishing that referrals dropped in your lap, Right?
When was the last time you received a referral? Better yet….
When was the last time you asked for a referral.
Here’s the excuses I hear from sales teams I coach.
“Christine, I’m so busy I’m not sure if I can handle more business.”
“Gosh, I always seem to forget to ask?”
It’s not on your radar because it’s not a part of your selling strategy.
“It’s my experience, people are reluctant to give referrals, and I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable.”
Tell the truth… it makes you uncomfortable to ask.
If asking for referrals is not a part of your sales strategy….here’s what you’re missing. (Source)
84% of people trust recommendations from people they know. Making them the most influential form of advertising. Nielson
Referred customers were about 18% more likely to stay than other customers. Wharton School of Business
Word of mouth drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending. CMO
It’s this simple… if you’re not asking for referrals you ARE leaving money on the table for Your competition.
REFERRAL STRATEGY KEY POINTS
KEY POINT # 1
Every once in a while a blind squirrel will find a nut! The same with referrals. The more work and discipline you put into generating referrals, the more referrals you’ll get. And it does take discipline. Too many times sales professionals treat referrals as an after thought.
KEY POINT #2
There’s a range of approaches you can use in generating referral business.
Keep in mind…your behaviors will determine your success.
Just remember this…it’s not about getting business, it’s about sharing the value.
- Prepare the buyer early in the process after the sale has closed. Set the stage that this is part of your normal relationship with your new customer. It removes the possibility of the buyer being surprised by your request, when you do ask for a referral.
- Sometimes buyers are reluctant to give referrals because somehow they think your focus will now be on the referral and not on them. Therefore, assure the buyer that his own best interest will not suffer and your focus on the buyer will not diminish.
Clients that partner with you and benefit from the value of your work and products, are your most important referral sources of all.
Many sales professional either don’t prepare the buyer for the referral conversation or ask way to early before the buyer has the chance to experience your work and products.
Here are a few scripts to learn that work so well for my clients.
“As we move forward, I typically ask for referrals from my clients, since that is the source of most of my business. I hope you’ll consider doing that when the time is right.”
“When we first started to work together, I mentioned I typically ask for referrals. People who might also benefit from this value. While it might be early in the process, it may be a good time to understand who they may be.”
“As I’ve mentioned along the way, referrals are the lifeblood of my business. Who would you be willing to introduce to me at this point?”
I know..I know…you’re thinking…sounds aggressive.
So I’ll say it again…it’s not about getting business, it’s about sharing the value.
One client of mine shared with me that he never asked for referrals. After I challenged him to begin a strategic referral plan, he was amazed with the results. What amazed him the most was this comment he received from a client.
“I’d love to recommend you. I thought you were too busy to take on anymore.”
Be careful what you project!
I just redesigned my business card to say “My business accepts referrals” Why not set the stage early. I’ll let you know how it works out!
Now..will you twinkle your fingers over the keyboards and leave a comment. I’d love to hear about your referral successes or struggles.