How to Double Your Sales by Asking for Referrals

Posted on November 20, 2013

In sales, we’re taught to always be confident in your product or service, and to always ask for the sale.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in retail sales or business to business sales.  A confident salesperson will always close more deals than someone who is unsure of themselves or their product and service.

If you’re truly confident in what you do, you should ask for the referral too.

Referrals are one of the most powerful but consistently under-utilized growth techniques available.

Why don’t we ask for referrals more? 

Usually people say; “I don’t really know how to,” or “I just don’t want to impose.”

The truth is that they were just never trained to.  In order to effectively receive referrals on a daily basis, it has to be part of the sales process.

This is how to ask for (and receive) referrals.

When a customer buys something, instead of asking for a referral, promise to ask for one.

“After we’re done, I will make sure we’ve done a great job for you. If you’re pleased, I will ask you for a referral to somebody who would appreciate our work and a referral discount too.  This can be a school or business referral, some friends on Facebook, Twitter, or perhaps someone you can call or text to let them know how great of a job we’ve done for you.

Keep it conversational, but make your point.  In planting seeds like this, you’re giving your customers time to consider the right referrals, and you hold them and yourself accountable to the referral.

You can give them a referral discount to use on their next purchase if someone they refer buys from you.  They’ll want to buy your customer again to get the discount, and they know that their referral will get the same opportunity too.  Now you’ve made them the hero.

You’re also showing your confidence after the sale has been initiated, and this will help reduce buyer’s remorse.  Doubt often creeps in after the sale has been made.

Did I make the right decision? Maybe I should have gone somewhere else.

Once you’ve completed the job and your customer is happy, you simply ask for the referral. Since you have already told them you would, you’re not imposing and it would be rude to not follow through.

You will get the referral.

You are also now more confident, because you know your customer’s are so happy with you, your skills and your service, that they’re willing to tell their friends about you.  When those friends show up, you have common interests, and you will come across as more confident in the new sale, which makes your job, and the job of up-selling much easier.

Be absolutely amazing!

If you provide an outstanding service, then customers will compliment you.  This is your invitation to ask them for a referral.

I’m so pleased that you’re happy with my work. If you know someone like you that I can help, please let me know.

Do things that your customers may not expect.  Instead of just handing them a bag, walk around the counter and escort them to the door, or even to their vehicle.  Ask about how your business affects their lives.

If you’re in business to business sales, then send them a card after the sale with a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.  There are literally hundreds of ways to show customers that you appreciate them.  Think about it, and then stand out and be amazing.

Company pride is great, but show personalized service too.

Saying “I love working with customers like you.” is much more powerful than saying “We love working with customers like you.”

Your business brand is important. It’s often easier to remember a brand and build a reputation on it.  However, in most cases people would rather work with a personality than a brand.  You are the brand within the brand.

Ultimately you want a referral not only for your company, but for you.  So if you’re personally involved in making their day, then make sure that you let them know that you are an important part to this process.

Let people know specifically who your ideal customers are.

It’s absolutely okay to let the customer’s who love you know specifically who you are trying to reach.

I love working with educators like you.  If we can help more educators, and school systems, we can really make a difference in our community.  I’m trying to get in touch with directors in this area, do you know who I should speak with?

The more specific your question, the more likely you are to get the type of leads you want.  If you’re generic in your questions, then you’ll get less qualified leads.

Fear is your enemy.

Confidence is at least 50% of the sale.  So don’t let fear creep in.

But I don’t want to impose…

We are here to help others.  It is our job to expose our values to as many potential buyers as we can.   We’re here to do well, and to do good for others. As such, we fail when we do not ask. It’s not an imposition. It’s your opportunity to help somebody new.

Photo Credit: vj_fliks cc


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