Increasing Your Sales Through Referrals
How would getting 30 referrals in 30 days change your sales? How would it impact your income?
30 days from now your sales life could be totally transformed if you commit to following these SIMPLE key points and referral activities.
Let’s get to it.
Key Point #1
It’s not about getting business, it’s about sharing the value…the value that you bring. So instead of being reluctant when asking for a referral, understand that what you’re really asking is for a happy customer to share the value you, your company, and your product/services create.
Key Point #2
Prepare the buyer early in the process after the sale has closed. Set the stage that this is part of your normal relationship with a new customer. It removes the possibility of the buyer being surprised by your request when you do ask for a referral.
Key Point #3
Sometimes buyers are reluctant to give referrals because they may think your focus will now be on the referral and not on them. Reassure the buyer that his/her own best interest will not suffer and your focus on the buyer will not diminish.
Referral Activity #1 – Language
Using the right language when asking for referrals is just as important as preparing the buyer early in the process to expect a referral conversation.
Another common mistake is asking for a referral too early before the buyer has a chance to experience your work and products.
Here’s how to ask:
“As we move forward, I typically ask for referrals from my clients, since that is the source of most of my business. I hope you’ll consider doing that when the time is right.”
“When we first began working together, I mentioned I typically ask for referrals. People who might also benefit from this value. While it might be early in the process, it may be a good time to understand who they may be.”
“As I’ve mentioned along the way, referrals are the lifeblood of my business. Who would you be willing to introduce to me at this point?”
- Practice the scripts until you can say them authentically and without hesitation.
- Make a list of your best 25 customers.
- Make a list of your top new clients.
- There are are 20 work days in a month. Set up a schedule to Call 2 clients a day (from your list above) and ask each client for 3 referrals. (Use the appropriate script above.)
You should have 120 new prospects by the end of the month!
I know the headline of this article reads 30 Referrals in 30 Days. The activity above illustrates when asking for referrals as part of your normal selling process and customer service, referral business will fill up your pipeline.
Not every client will give you 3 referrals, and others will give you more than 3. The point is right now you have 0 referrals because you’re not asking. You CAN turn that around in 30 days.
If a client seems to be stuck coming up with names, here is an exercise I do quite often. It’s called the Spider Web. (See Illustration)
The clients name goes in the middle circle. All the circles surrounding the client are the vendors the client does business with. Every business, small and large works with vendors. While a client may be reluctant to refer you to his circle of influence, often times he will refer you to vendors.
So when a client becomes stuck, offer this exercise.
For Example, let’s say your client is in the automotive industry. What vendors do you think might also be doing business with your client….you’re not the only vendor.
Here’s what it should look like when you’re done.
As you can see in the example above, all the names listed on the outside circles are all possible vendors XYZ Automotive could be using…and there’s probably more!
The next step…when your meeting with XYZ Client as the meeting is wrapping pull out the spider web…and say
”You’re a great client and I’ve enjoyed working with you…tell me, what vendors do you do business with…and I ask… because could they possibly benefit from my services too?”
Show the spider web or draw one as a visual. This will help jog your client’s memory and come up with names. And if you don’t want to show your web, then go down the list of possible vendors to make it easy for your client. I did this recently with a well-established client and she actually looked at my spider web and said…
“You missed one.”
She gave me the vendor industry I missed with their name and number!
You now have a list of warm leads and all you did was draw a spider web! When you call the vendors you have an easier conversation…
“I just met with XYZ Company, and your name came up. I do ABC for XYZ Company. I’m calling to schedule a 20 minute meeting to show you my idea on how I can help your company like I did with XYZ Company. After we meet, we can then determine if it makes sense to have a deeper conservation”
Now try these key points, scripts and exercises over the next 30 days, and your sales will be transformed! Remember…it starts by making a plan and then taking action….massive action!
Christine Harrington is The Savvy Sales Lady. She is a facilitator for Peak Performance Mindset Workshop, a personal sales coach and consultant. Christine helps sales professionals develop their beliefs and skills to transform their sales performance.