When it comes to referrals, many sales professionals are stumped as to how to get them. After all, it’s not quite an easy thing to. But it can be easy if you know the right techniques to use. Use the following methods to get brand new, qualified referrals for your business and watch your sales grow.
1. Revisit Your Power Base
The first and most powerful way to get more referrals for to increase your pipeline is to leverage your power base. Who is your power base? They are all of the people who are close to you in some capacity and want you to do well.
This includes your friends, family, coworkers, clients, classmates, and anyone who you have a positive relationship with. So the first step in gathering referrals is to make a list of all of the people in your power base. Think long and hard about who is included in it. Scan your social media friend list as well, as you might have even forgotten all of the people you know.
Once you’ve defined your power base, you’re ready to start collecting contact information for them. Write down their phone numbers, emails, or home addresses and store the info in a digital document somewhere in the cloud so you don’t lose it (after all, you’re doing a lot of work to gather it in one place).
Next, you want to actually contact the people in your power base. The first preference here is to see them in person somehow. If you can, swing by their office, home, or favorite lunch spot. Then set up a video call, phone call, or another meeting. Your goal for this first meeting is just to touch base, to get back into their lives. You are not going to ask for a referral at this point.
You will ask for the referral after asking them about what they’re doing, where they’re working, how things are going, etc. Naturally, they will ask you questions about what you’re doing and that is when you can mention your career or business and ask them who they know who could benefit from it.
Remember, your power base is your most powerful asset. They are people who want to hear from you and see how you’re doing. Don’t be nervous about contacting them. If you truly believe in your product and service, then you are actually doing the right thing. And one final tip on your power base referral strategy: try breaking up this task in small pieces. For example, make your list of contacts the first day, then put in their contact info the second day, and finally contact them on the third day so the task is more easily attainable. Do this and watch your referrals explode.
2. During the Sale
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to get referrals is to wait too long to ask for one. Sure, there are ways to do it after a sale (more on that later) but when you have a prospect in front of you, getting ready to buy your product, you have a golden opportunity to tap their network.
For example, if you’re selling cars. When your buyer is at your desk, getting ready to sign the paperwork, you ask: “So, Mr. Buyer, who else do you know that could benefit from our service and great prices here at ABC Dealership?” If you’ve done a good job of building a relationship with the buyer, they will be happy to offer some names because they trust that you can help their friends just you helped them. Always try to get referrals during the sale, when emotions and excitement run high.
3. Offer an Incentive
Whether you are offering an online service, in-person service, or any kind of solution to your buyers, you can provide incentives for referrals. Think of it as an ethical, legal bribe. For example, if you are selling ecommerce products, you can send your current customers an email that says something like “Refer 5 friends to our company and we’ll send you a $20 gift card for your next purchase!” People love to get rewarded for their actions, and if they truly love your products it will be a double bonus because they can share the happiness with those they know!
4. Ask for Help
This method of obtaining more referrals may be surprising to some. Ask them to help you out. Say something along the lines of: “Ms. Client, over the last few months, we’ve taken really good care of you and helped you solve your problems. I would like to ask you to do me a personal favor, which would really go a long way in helping me out and my family since I put food on the table. Can you please think of at least three people who you know that are in the market for a product like ours? Can you help me out?”
People are inherently good and want to help others. It’s not going to seem desperate when you ask for help. It’s quite the opposite. Your confidence to ask your client for such a thing will demonstrate your commitment to helping people.
The previous four ways mentioned in this article to get referrals all involve actively asking for it. However, this method is all about making it to where customers feel obligated to send referrals your way based on how much you add value to their lives. You do this by overdelivering on the products you offer. Always strive to delight, not just satisfy, your customers. If you truly take this to heart and put it into action, you’ll find that your customers can’t wait to tell their friends about you.
If you want more referrals to boost your pipeline and sales numbers, look no further. Review the methods above one more time and then actually put them into action. By leveraging your power base, asking for referrals during the sale, using incentives, asking directly for help, and over delivering on your promises, you can have more referrals than you ever imagined possible.