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. If you don’t believe me, at your next cocktail party, ask a group of people for a recommendation for a service provider for your home…and watch them argue with each other about why their person is better.
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. Then, get permission to reach out if you don’t hear from them. “If I don’t hear from you by this day, is it okay to call you the following day?”
Always, they will say yes. Now you have permission.
And you have 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!
To grow your sales 10-20% annually as my clients do, call me directly at 847-459-6322.
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My clients add 10 to 20% annually to their sales -- every year -- by taking simple action repeatedly and systematically. My clients are manufacturers, distributors and service companies in mature industries like lumber, pipes and valves, chemicals, and steel. If you would like to add 10-20% to your sales quickly and easily, call me directly at 847-459-6322.