Asking for referrals can be an uncomfortable step for many sales people, and it can be as comfortable for non-sales people as a root canal. It doesn’t have to be that way! People often make referrals difficult and uncomfortable because they asked for them at the wrong time. Wait to ask for a referral when the client is happiest, shortly after they’ve received the product or service. It is also important to remember that the sales person shouldn’t always be the person who has to ask for the referral; the sales person is not always the individual who has built a rapport with the client. The person delivering the product or service is usually the person who has built a relationship with the client. By developing a cross-functional team of sales, service, and product delivery people, you can develop a referral process that is a win-win for everyone.
Here are a series of sales tips that you can share with your team to help get referrals and build your network.
Sales Tip 1: Remind the Customer of Specific Benefits – Be aware when clients tell you benefits during a phone call or general service call so that you can bring up those benefits during your request for a referral.
Sales Tip 2: Describe Your Customer Profile – Describe some other solutions that you have provided for other companies or organizations. It will help them start to think of other people.
Sales Tip 3: Identify a Benefit for Giving a Referral – Identify a value that it creates for the client to give you a referral.
Sales Tip 4: Suggest They Already Know Someone – If you know of a specific person or client that you would like to be referred to, provide your client with the opportunity to mention them. Just try to avoid putting the person on the spot. Instead, bring it up and give them time to consider the referral.
Sales Tip 5: Ask for an Introduction – Asking for an introduction is a good way to break the ice with the client and has the added impact of having someone who has benefited from your product in the room or on a call with the prospective client.
Just constantly remind yourselves of the benefits of asking for the referral and then just ask for it.