For today’s Sales Insight blog I would like to discuss with you the key to unlocking and asking for referrals.
Most of my business comes from referrals and it seems this is a pretty common situation. In fact, a New York Times survey suggested that 65% of new business comes from referrals, with a Nielsen report concluding that people are 400% more likely to buy from a friend’s referral.
In many purchases we’ll actively seek referrals even from random strangers. For example, we might look at reviews on Trip Advisor when planning a holiday, or refer to reviews on Amazon before we buy a product.
Yet sales people often make three mistakes when it comes to asking for referrals:
- We’re afraid to ask; for fear of upsetting the customer or feeling too pushy.
- We plan to ask once the customer has experienced the product or service, by which time it is often forgotten.
- We have no systematic approach to asking.
Remember these golden rules to unlock the power of your referrals
- Recognise that people want to refer, especially if they like and value you.
- Don’t be afraid to explain to customers that referrals are where most of your business comes from.
- Feature your referral request early on in the sales conversation so your customer knows to expect it.
- Make sure you elicit more than one referral from a customer.
- Ensure that you reciprocate by providing referrals, or some small personalised gesture of thanks, for the person that referred.
It’s always worth asking for referrals
If you take this approach, the worse that can happen is someone might say no. In my experience no one has ever been offended by this approach, nor has it ever damaged a customer relationship. In fact quite the opposite, and that’s why most of my business comes from word of mouth.
Don’t forget, if you would like any information on this or any other area of sales please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoyed this post? Take a look at ‘Improving Your Understanding Of Your Sales Prospects With Insights’ here.