Last week on CanDoGo.com was Tony Alessandra week. While a little late on the draw this week, the good news is, you can still access all of Tony’s videos and tips on CanDoGo. This one in particular I felt was so relevant during a time where customer retention and acquisition is top of mind for all companies and salespeople. Below are some best practices when it comes to asking for referrals.
Asking for Referrals
By Dr. Tony Alessandra
Ask for referrals anytime a customer offers positive feedback about you, your company, or your product. Often, the best time to do so is right after your customer has a problem resolved by you, and you’ve proven that you can and will follow through. Any time you ask for referrals, follow these guidelines:
1. Ask for specific referrals to narrow the customer’s focus. Word your questions so that the customer thinks about a specific environment and a specific situation. For example: “Do you know of any colleagues in your business club whose needs are similar to yours?”
2. Gather as much information about the new customer as possible. In an informal, casual manner, ask about the referrals, business, needs and behavioral style. For example, ask “What did he say to you that indicated he has such a need?”
3. Ask your customer for permission to use his or her name. This should be no problem if you have built a solid relationship with that customer.
4. Ask your customer for help in obtaining an appointment with the referral.
5. Contact the referral as soon as possible, and then inform your customer about the outcome of the contact. If the customer decides to buy, send your referring customer a thank-you gift. If the customer doesn’t buy, send your referring customer a thank-you note for trying.