Referrals Can Be a Quick Way to Build Sales

Referrals Can Be a Quick Way to Build Sales

Ask Andi: It’s difficult to ask for sales referrals. I feel that people should refer my company’s services because they want to, not because I’m asking them to. I find it hard to ask for a favor, which is what asking for a referral feels like.

Thoughts of the Day: Referrals can be a quick way to build sales. Building a business around your best clients is one of the most successful ways to grow. Asking for a favor tells people you value them. When your marketing resources are limited, referrals can be a fast way to build up sales, which gets you more funds to use for marketing in other ways. Having a system for gathering referrals may help get over the hump of building skills at asking.

Referrals can be a quick way to build sales

If your company is like a lot of firms today, you may not have a big marketing budget. Learning how to get referrals from supportive clients is a great way to stretch marketing dollars. A referral can turn into a press release, a case study, a blog comment, an online advertisement, a recommendation about whom to go after next – the list is endless.

Feeling shy or unsure about how to ask for referrals? Keep in mind that people may not think to provide assistance unless you ask, even though they are more than willing to help. Most people like being asked to help, if it doesn’t take too much effort. It means you value them and their opinion.

Some clients are good at giving referrals, some are not. Check with your buddies on their experience with specific customers you have in common. Look for buyers whose businesses are thriving, who have a positive outlook on the world, and who have a reputation for respecting others. Target prospects that are known to crow about the benefits they receive from their vendors.

Leverage the goodwill

Can’t get a referral out of a specific client? Ask if there’s a problem with the product or service you provided and if there is, fix it. Then circle back to re-ask for that referral. Sometimes the best references come from relationships that have been built upon coming through difficult times together.

Think of gathering referrals as a business transaction. Make it part of how you do business. Tell clients upfront that you’ll circle back at the end to ensure they are satisfied, and if they are, to ask them to comment on their experience.
Positivity usually brings in more positivity, and one good referral can lead to lots more. Show clients what others have said by keeping a running list of referral comments. Ask them to follow the leader by adding their comments.

Make it clear you’d appreciate introductions

Make a follow-up phone call once your work is complete. Ask what they would say if contacted for a referral. Start with a couple of quick questions:

  • Rate your overall satisfaction with the services received.
  • Would you be comfortable recommending this company to a friend?
  • What are 2 things that would characterize the product or service you received?

So long as you’re overall satisfaction with the answers is positive, complete the referral list. Want to get into more detail? Script an email or phone call that asks clients to tell about their experience working with your company.

  • What was the best part of the experience?
  • How did that improve their world, or make their life better?
  • Would they be willing to have their company featured in a case study that talks in more depth about the experience they had with your company?

Every successful business learns how to leverage the experiences of its best clients. Doing so leads to getting more great customers. Asking for referrals is one way to do that. Just put it out there.

Looking for a good book? Book Yourself Solid; The Fastest, Easiest, Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle, by Michael Port.

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