Referrals are a great way to build your business.
However, do not look at referrals as the only way to grow your business. If you do, you will let go of a tremendous amount of potential opportunities. Referrals are just one leg of your prospecting process.
Video – Using Referrals As Part of Your Prospecting Process:
1. Ask for a referral any time you give value.
Often, people are hesitant to ask for a referral, but anytime you give a customer value, you have the right to say, “Hey, who else might benefit from this? Who else might you know?”
When the customers receive value, they think highly of you. They like you. They like what you are doing for them. Use it.
2. If you want to get referrals, you need to give referrals.
This is not a quid pro quo type of arrangement, but it is amazing how your mindset becomes as such very easily. When you are willing to give people referrals, you’ll see how you receive them in return.
Don’t think for a moment that it’s not your obligation to give referrals, because if you do, I bet you won’t get the referrals that you’re hoping for. Give to get.
3. Keep everyone involved.
It’s key that you keep the person who gave you the referral in the loop. This is probably one of the most important ones on this list.
Here’s why– when somebody gives you a referral, whether or not something comes of it, you need to keep that person up to date. Thank them for giving you that person’s name. Express thanks for making that introduction and share how it went. Keep the person who gave you the referral informed.
Why? If somebody gives you a referral and they never hear back from you, they’ll probably think, “Well, that was that.” But, if you contact them again and again and say, “Hey, nothing happened,” they will probably feel really bad and feel like they should give you another referral. On the flip side, if the referral went well, they’ll say, “That’s great. Let me give you another one.“
What you’re doing is priming the pump. Because the majority of your referrals (80% typically) will come from 20% of your customers.
I love using recognition to get more referrals. If you see a customer achieve something, then pick up the phone and call them. Compliment them on their achievement. Guess what? After that, you can ask them who else they might know. It’s that easy! When you call them, they are going to be in a great mood, and they will want to thank you.
5. Follow-up calls
You may have somebody in your organization who needs to follow up after an installation has been done. Or perhaps, something’s been happening and they’re following up just to see how it’s going. Right then, don’t hesitate to ask, “Hey, by the way, who else might be a good person for us to talk to?”
It’s always a great time to ask for a referral on the anniversary of whenever your customer began doing business with you. You can say something like:
“Hey, I wanted to call you up. You know, it’s been five years since we began working together. I want to say thank you. And by the way, five years – that’s a long time. I bet you probably know some other…”
This is a great seg-way into asking for a referral, because you’re complimenting them. You’re thanking them.
7. End of the year
I love end of the year, because you’re in the groove of calling up customers. Really, you’re just saying, “Hey, thanks for a great year. It has been a great year.” Then you ask them, “Hey, what are your plans for next year?”
You know what’s interesting? Especially in B2B, it is amazing how they wind up talking about their plans for next year. You’ll wind up having more meetings with them. And then you can say, “Hey, well, you know what? Who else are you hearing from?” Again, you’ll start hearing from people and creating connections.
8. Measure success
What do we mean by measure success? If a customer is buying from you and they’re achieving a certain level of success, you want to reach out and compliment them. You want to tell them, “Hey, it’s great the success that you’re having. Terrific! Hey, by the way, who else might you know?” You see, I always tag who else might you know. In another video, I’ll walk through how you actually word that, so stay tuned! Take a second to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss it.
9. Old customers and prospects
Don’t forget about those customers or prospects who have never bought from you. In my list thus far, I’ve been talking about the whole process as if they’re customers. But you know what? You may have customers who chose not to buy from you. You may even have customers who left you. You can still contact them and ask them for a referral.
You’re contacting them to see how they’re doing. Yes, you’re trying to bring them back in. You want to get them to buy from you again. You want them as your customer again. However, if you can’t, you can just say, “Hey, you know what we offer, and I understand that it may not line up perfect for you, but who else might you know?” It’s amazing the magic that happens!
10. Repeat, Repeat
This means you have to keep doing the process. Every week. Every day. Ask yourself who you asked for a referral. In some industries, like in the insurance industry, real estate, and so forth, it’s very normal. But most other industries, it’s not the norm. You really have to condition yourself.
So I end with number 10 being repeat, repeat. You have to continuously challenge yourself making sure that you ask for referrals every single day. Referrals are a great way to fill your pipeline. Don’t think they’re the only way, but don’t hesitate to ask. When you ask for one, make sure you ask from a thankful heart. Thank them and always refer back to number three by keeping everyone involved.
You’ll find these 10 ways to work referrals into your prospecting process in two of my books, A Mind For Sales and High-Profit Prospecting. Each book contains a lot regarding how to use referrals to grow your prospecting and ultimately grow your sales.
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Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.