We all want referrals, but actually getting referrals is a different story.
Some sales people assume happy customers will automatically shower them with referrals. Others find asking for referrals uncomfortable. And, some people ask for referrals all the time, but they aren’t specific enough when they ask.
Regardless of what group you fall in, here are four easy steps to getting qualified referrals:
- What’s in it for me? Communicate the benefit of giving you a referral. Sometimes it’s as simple as being able to serve as connector for their clients and associates.
- Be specific in your ask. For example, if I asked someone for a referral and I said… Anybody with sales people – it would probably be difficult to narrow that down. However, if I said a manufacturing company that has at least 5 outside sales people, located in Dallas Ft. Worth, the owner is actively involved, they are having challenges keeping the funnel full, closing deals, holding the sales team accountable, and upholding margins--- it would be much easier to filter out those companies that don’t fit.
- Make it a part of your prospecting plan. Set a goal of meeting 1-2 current customers a week to have a referral conversation. The more intentional you are, the more likely it is that you’ll actually do it.
- Give Updates. If someone gives you a referral, make sure you update them on the status and outcome of their referral.
Remember: 20% of your customers will give you a referral without asking, 20% will never give you a referral, and 60% will give you a referral if you ask.
**Updated for relevance