Referrals are one of the most overlooked ways to make sales. In fact, only 17% of sales professionals ask for referrals. The ironic part is most satisfied customers state they would be happy to refer their sales person when they have had a "positive sales experience." This low-hanging fruit in sales could increase your sales by 10-12% on average. "What does that look like in sales revenue?
When To Ask
Often in sales conversations, I hear people say they think of asking but want to wait until after the sale closes. I respond, why not ask in the present moment you have a satisfied customer? Moments are like movies; they are never as good the second time around as they are the first. Ask your new client while they are feeling the effects of your positive sales experience.
When Not to Ask
If you are responsible for delivering an invoice or collecting payment at the close of a sale, it can appear self-serving to ask for a referral at this time. Don't forget to thank your customer during and after the sale. After the sale is usually a good opportunity to ask for the referral in this case. The timing of asking is important as well. You do not want to thank them in one sentence and ask for something in the next. This part of the sales process can be included as a part of your sales playbook.
Are you grateful for the trust others have placed in you? When buyers buy, they take a leap a faith, large or small. Decision making is never foolproof, so they place their trust in you. Do you acknowledge this? Look for opportunities to thank your new customer towards the close of a sale. Reinforce the promise you made and thank them in creative ways for placing their trust in you, Being grateful shows humility, grace and generosity of spirit. Having an attitude of gratitude is an admirable and rare trait for anyone in life.
We live in a world where everyone is bombarded with advertising; most people want validation of products and services before investing time or money. People look to others who have tried and been satisfied with your solution. Are you asking for client testimonials from your raving fans? Strive to create a "rock star" sales experience and ask for testimonials for your closing act.
What is your process for receiving a referral?
If you are in an industry where you sell directly to consumers, you will probably have to ask for as many referrals as possible to grow your business. When you ask for the referral, you should follow up within 24-48 hours.If you do not connect, keep trying. When you connect, you should notify the referral source that you have connected and thank them for this referral. You should get contact information at the same time you receive the referral and ask permission to reach out. Never expect the referral source to get in touch for you. Referrals are gifts; if you are unable to use a gift, do you ask the giver to take it back for you? Referrals are gifts to make your sales life easier and enhance your sales success. Treat them accordingly.
I hope you can use these tips to increase referrals and add them to your sales playbook.