How to get referrals in the sales process
First, getting referrals is as easy or as difficult as you do. The main reason most sellers are not good at getting referrals is simply because they do not ask or ask with conviction. Asking a prospective customer or customer for the names and contact information of some of their friends or associates is not a big deal. Think about it:
do you think that Mr. and Mrs. Prospect sitting at the dining room table and their neighbor walking into the house, do you think that Mr. And Mrs. Prospect will you introduce to the neighbor and tell the neighbor what you do? Of course they would. It is nothing more to ask for references. It is nothing more than to ask for an introduction. That’s all: just a simple introduction.
Second, for some reason, most sellers believe that there is only one suitable time to ask for referrals. Most feel that the only time to ask for referrals is after the successful sale where the prospect bought the product. Other more sharp sellers will ask for no referrals after a visit to the sale, but this is still not enough. There are many other opportunities to ask for referrals. First, let’s take a look at some referral tips and then explore all the additional opportunities to get referrals.
- Help people give referrals: People often find it difficult to get names of people they believe are appropriate for you. You need to HELP them. Make suggestions on where to find names: their cellphone, phone book, appointments, church members, club members, association members, baseball team, sports and leisure partners, dentist, doctor, school staff, etc. You need to have ready list to provide people to help them think of referrals for you.
- People NOT Prospects: People will often start referring to those who are buyers, or at least good prospects for you. You have to emphasize that this is not the idea. One way to explain it is that referrals are a method of advertising and with advertising you don’t think about who will buy or who will. Your job is just to get the message out to many people. Let the customer know that talking about your product is never a waste of your time. You just need people.
- Control costs: Let the customer know that this form of advertising helps your company and others to keep costs low. Let them know that word of mouth is an integral part of your work. This is how your business works.
There are many opportunities to ask for referrals. Just pick three and use it consistently, and you will have more referrals than you can handle!
Prospecting When you make cold or hot calls to make appointments, what do you do when a prospect refuses an appointment? These are people asking for referrals. Just because the person does not want to accept an appointment does not mean that he or she will not refer you to others who will. If you are a professional by phone, ask people with whom you do not have appointments for referrals to whom you may contact.
Setting up the appointment After making an appointment depending on what you are selling, it may be a good time to ask for a referral: especially if you want to go to an area that is out of the way. Ask the person if they know of anyone else you can visit while in the area.
The warm-up Before you begin your sales offer and get to know your prospects, it’s the perfect time to ask for referrals. If you’re smart, you can build it up in your warm-up talk. Asking questions about friends, family and friends can easily lead to asking to meet the people.
During the presentation – Depending on your product, during your presentation you will have several opportunities to connect with client associates. Short periods of dead air are good times. For example, if you need to calculate something or compile an offer. Ask the product to fill in a reference form during that period.
Closures The closing of the sale provides an excellent opportunity to ask for referrals even before you get the answer. You can also use referrals as a big incentive to offer the customer extra benefits or a lower price. If your sales process includes a price reduction, use the discount to buy the referrals.
After the sale or no sale. If the prospect is being purchased, this is a good time to ask for referrals. However, if they haven’t bought, it’s a good time too.
Product Delivery Just after delivering your new product or setting up the new program or installing the new software, this is the perfect time to ask for referrals. Your client is happy and excited. Take advantage of this timing.
Customer Service Calls Your client had a problem that solves your business exactly the way you said you would; you have provided excellent customer service is one of the best times to get referrals.
Continued relationship You can always contact customers and ask for a referral. There really are no rules.