Sales: Who Moved My Referrals?
A MUST ASK In Every Sales Cycle!
To help gain clients and sales, your sales marketing plans might already use some combination of advertising, seminars, lead generation, cold calls, personal, and professional networking, etc. Do you attach the same level of importance to referrals? Imagine what could happen if you did.
Consider the following:
When was the last time you asked for a referral?
When was the last time a salesperson asked you for a referral?
When was the last time you asked your client for specific names and contact information of people they know who could benefit from your product or service?
Do you or your company have a specific method of operation to follow for referrals? Do you hesitate to ask? Are you too shy to ask?
Here are my Top 7 “Who Moved My Referrals?” suggestions:
1. Be “ReferABLE”
Do you earn the right to ask for referrals? Are you REALLY distinctive in your sales and communication processes with your clients? Do you build an impenetrable wall around your clients that makes them competitor-proof? Do you MAKE people want to do business with you? Would YOU do business with YOU?
2. Use the Direct Approach
Always verbalize the question and ask it outright at the end of a call or appointment. Remember the Columbo close . . . as you’re walking out of the room and you reach for the door knob and you ask: “Oh . . . by the way, who do you know that might benefit . . . ?” Or use this same question when you are about to conclude a sales call.
Salespeople who build true intimacy with their clients can ask this question all day long. Salespeople who are lacking in the skills of building intimacy might find ways NOT to ask this question, because they are not truly connected with their clients.
3. Use the Indirect Approach
Utilize different things and have some fun! How about these ideas:
On every piece of mail that you send to a client, include a Post-It note asking for a referral.
Hold a client appreciation get-together and make a short speech telling your appreciation of your clients and asking for referrals.
Send very important clients a gift, like a pen and pencil set, and drop a special personalized note in the gift wrapping.
Send to your clients a questionnaire that includes space for a response to this question: “Who do you know that might . . .?”
4. Network the ENTIRE World
In his book Megatrends, John Naisbitt states “you can network the entire world just by knowing five people.” Within that network as you proceed to build it, ask and continue to ask each person for referrals.
5. Market Yourself
If you don’t get tenacious about marketing yourself, who will? Get out there and let the world know what you do! Many times we look for that “perfect” environment in order to ask for a referral. There will never be a perfect situation – so ask.
6. Look at EACH Contact as a Life-Long Relationship
No matter what! Each person, regardless of how you connected, should be entered into your database with full contact information including: e-mail address, date of birth, and hobbies or passions. When you create lifelong positive relationships, you further earn the right to asking for referrals.
7. Deliver Twice What You Promise
When you consistently deliver more than expected, new clients are drawn to you and past clients are easily influenced to provide you referrals. But remember, you still have to ask for them: your clients are not looking into a crystal ball that tells them you would like a referral.
Now that you have read this article, are you going to let the information “sit” like a book in the bookcase collecting dust? Or will you take part or all of this information and put it to use? If you do, you’ll be working more—and enjoying it more while gaining more referrals all the time.