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Asking for a referral should be a conversation and not a single question like, “do you have a referral for me?”

Here is your starting question: “Who do you know, like yourself, who I can help as I help you?”

Ask the question and wait.

Be silent.

Let your customers think.

Do not speak until they give you a name.

Do not nervous-chatter your way out a referral!

Then when the customer gives you a name, here is your next question which defines how you will be receiving this referral:

“Do you prefer that I reach out and use your name, or would you like to send an email connecting us?”

Most of the time people will offer to connect you — because they want credit for this referral.

People love to give referrals.

Finally, ask when they will do this. “So that I don’t bother you, when do you think you may get to this?”

Again, wait quietly until they think through their schedule and arrive at a time.

Those are the three critical elements of a good referral:

Who are you being connected to?
How this connection is made?
When it will be done?

Without all three elements, you don’t know what to do.

With all three, chances are high you’re off to make your next sale to this referral!