Everybody wants to get as many referrals as they can to help them grow business, but there are some key things you need to do to ensure that you are getting the referrals you need.

First, make deposits.  Just like a bank account, it is possible to try to withdraw from someone a referral before he or she is ready to give you a referral.  This could be for several reasons, so therefore you need to:

How to Maximize Your Referrals

Get permission to ask for referrals.

Get Permission:  You need to ask the question, “Is there any reason why you would not feel comfortable introducing me or referring me to your clients, friends, or associates?”  You really want to know if this is the case.

Ask if they have any issues with you, your product, your service or your company.  Many time small objections or issues come up that could easily be cleared up with proper communication.  You want to honestly and realistically know if there are any issues, you don’t want these issues to be hidden.

After you remove any potential objections and you have made sure there are no issues now you need to ask specific question on who you can be introduced to. Don’t just say, “who do you know” but ask specific questions as in “who do you know that could use a new investment program”  sometimes depending upon the sales cycle you might ask, “who do you know that might be open to learning more about investment opportunities”

Finally, stay top of mind.  Many retail and Fortune 500 companies that serve or sell to the public understand this concept.  You must stay at the forefront of the minds of people, even if you don’t get referrals immediately.  Why? Because people will and do forget quickly about you if you don’t stay in front of them!

If you utilize these strategies you will find it much easier to get more referrals.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

-SB January 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Asking for referrals can bring in a lot of business. I feel though that asking clients if there were any reason they would not refer me can be challenging. Is there an easy way to start that conversation?

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odclive January 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm

SB,

Great question, and you are right…it can be a tricky conversation to bring up. The key is to realize your goal is to 1) depressurize the situation and make it okay for the client to be honest with you, and 2) get a referral.

One way of doing this would be to start the conversation off like this:

"Client, as you know I receive a lot of my business from referrals. In fact you may be surprised that I haven't asked you for a referral yet. There is a reason for that. I feel that I must first show that I am worthy of your referrals which is why I wanted to ask you if there is anything that would keep you from feeling 100% comfortable in referring me to your friends, family, or coworkers."

Then be quiet and let them talk. If they say no then great! Go ahead and ask them for a referral. If they say yes, then now is a great time to do a service recovery.

A twist on this would be to add something to the effect of, "It is perfectly okay if you don't feel 100% confident at this point and time." After all, you truly want to know if there is something that keeps them from referring so you need to make it okay for them to be honest with you so that you can remove that obstacle.

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network2succeed December 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

The referral conversation in this example is still far too general. You must really whittle it down. You're still asking; who do you know? The referral conversation needs to be much more specific, in order to enlist the help of your referral source. Use names of others you heard in conversation, such as relatives, co workers, neighbors, fellow business owners, etc. Then tell how those same types have realized the benefit of your product or service. It will open eyes, ears, and more importantly, doors of opportunity for you.

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