How would getting more referrals impact your business? Most salespeople are reluctant to ask for referrals, in fear of the response. Instead, create a referral agreement that would make your customers want to refer tons of referrals to you.
What is a Referral?
What exactly classifies as a referral? If we were to create some parameters that define what a referral is, this is what it would look like.
Synonymous with “recommendation” and “testimonial,” a referral is a potential prospect that is directed or given to you by someone you know or someone you don’t know who feels that you are the best source for help or information regarding a specific, subject, product, or service.
What makes a referral so incredibly attractive and desirable is that it is, for the most part, a warm lead. That is, when you approach a referral, there is less of a need to convince or sell them. A certain degree of interest, credibility, and comfort has already been established. Chances are, there’s already a need present. All you have to do then, is turn that need into a want or a desire for your product using the questions in your needs analysis.
Typically, your clients are going to be the top source for referral business simply because they are the ones who actually utilize your product, making them the most effective testimonial you can find to endorse your product.
The following dialogue illustrates how you can establish a referral agreement with your clients. This way, you will be able to identify the clients who are willing to become a referral source for you and the most appropriate time to ask them for referrals. This is a great example of how to set up your strategy to increase the amount of referral business you currently generate.
When and How to Ask for Referrals
The Referral Agreement:
You: “Mr./Mrs. Client, would you be interested in hearing how I’ve been supporting my clients & helping them build their business, as it may be something we can do for you?”
You: “Since companies are looking for ways to succeed in our remote workplace, I’ve been consulting clients through their challenges by sharing best practices that have been working for our other clients.
For me to spend more time with my clients & less time prospecting for new business, I rely on the help of my satisfied clients.
Please understand, I’m not asking for any referrals from you now.
Personally, I feel it would be presumptuous to ask you to introduce me to someone before you’ve utilized and benefited from my services. After all, we just started working together!
However, once you’re realizing the benefits of our services and expectations have been met, would you be comfortable sharing the results you’ve experienced with others by way of introducing me to people who might also benefit from my services?”
You: “Thanks in advance for your consideration. Just so I know; what expectations do I need to meet that will make you comfortable enough to want to refer business to me?”
You Just Have To Ask
The most effective way to earn referrals is to over- deliver on the value your clients expect so that you actually exceed their expectations. Once you confirm this to be true, it now becomes a great time to ask for testimonials or a reference from a happy client.
If you find that you are having difficulty asking for referrals, then question how strong your belief is in your product, your commitment to serving your clients, and the value proposition you can deliver.
From the Coaches Corner: As soon as you receive a referral, a hand written note from you, thanking them, as well as for their trust in you, will demonstrate your appreciation and how much you value your partnership/relationship, keeping that referral engine humming.
Setting up a referral agreement with your clients will remove any reluctance and make you feel much more comfortable when asking them for referrals. Since they now know this is something you will be asking of them, it’s okay to ask.