The One Question That Gets Referrals

March 7, 2017


question mark on a sticky note against grained wood

Is your sales team actively seeking out referrals from your current client base?

According to recent studies, 78% of happy clients want to give out referrals. Yet only 8% of salespeople actually ask for them. Can you see the disconnect? It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that many salespeople are missing out on key opportunities to increase their sales and grow their businesses.

How many of these opportunities are slipping through the fingers of your sales team?

I understand the intimidation factor, but the truth is in order to achieve and maintain any kind of success in sales, you have to push through the intimidation and ask for referrals anyway. They are such a powerful tool to grow your customer base, and not having your team ask for them often enough is doing a major disservice to them and your business.

Here’s the truth, you will always get a rejection if you’re asking for referrals the wrong way.

Just like anything else, being successful with gathering referrals requires strategy. Click To Tweet

Consider this quick strategy to get the ball rolling:

Make a list!

That’s right, sometimes the easiest way to feel confident about asking for referrals is to write down your entire customer base and determine which clients are likely to give you a good one. Once you begin putting your clients down on paper, you may be surprised by the amount of people that are probable to provide you with a referral. Then, create a second list by researching potential prospects that are in the same network or connected to your current customers. After you’ve created your two lists, go to any current customers that are connected to contacts on your second list and ask them this simple question:

“I’d like to meet (target contact from second list), can I tell them we do business together?”

This approach almost always guarantees a positive response. Of course, you may still come across people who would rather not have their names be used. But, because you’re asking such a direct and clear question, you will rarely be met with rejection.

Try this strategy out this week! I challenge you to quickly put this idea to the test and relay it to your sales team. At the very least, it will get the ball rolling and give them an increased level of confidence when asking for referrals. But, the likelihood is it will open up opportunities and create exciting new introductions to help move your business forward.

Engage Selling helps organizations develop and review sales strategies to ensure they meet their business objectives. Learn more.

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