We talk a lot about finding new business in these pages; we talk about sourcing your business from various areas using different methods to ensure that you don’t rely on one source. We also talk about cold calling and the importance of introducing brand new prospects that you can inject into your new business mix. But we’re often not that great at asking for referrals, are we?
It’s worth remembering the following:
So, whilst we encourage all forms of prospecting we’d urge you all to look for warm referrals. What could the sources of warm referrals be? How about these:
- Your existing customers. These will be the absolute best source of referrals, and more often than not we don’t ask! In most cases we don’t ask because we think the customer will think we’re being salesy or pushy, and yet in most cases they’re expecting us to ask and are puzzled when we don’t.
If our customers like us they’ll be only too happy to give us referrals. Make sure you ask them in a positive manner, maybe something like… ‘We really appreciate your business and we’re looking to expand our own business with other successful companies such as yours, is there anyone that you think we should be talking to?’
- If you work in purely a sales role and other relationship managers look after your clients, give them referral targets. If they object, talk to their manager.
- Ask everyone that you know for referrals – family, friends, other colleagues, etc.
- Join networking groups, get your name around!
High performing salespeople do this instinctively. Working hard on gaining referrals will make your job a lot easier.