According to Peter Drucker’s research, Salespeople have a 1:4 chance of selling to someone referred to them by a current client.
And that tantalizing statistic begs the question: “When's the right time to ask for referrals?”
Only after your client is beyond satisfied – thrilled, really.
Don’t ask a prospect to refer you to other prospects until you have had the opportunity to demonstrate all you provide to your clients and they're zealous about sharing how G-R-E-A-T you are…that means before you ask for a referral, you need to….
- Sell. Complete a sale. (It’s unlikely that prospects will recommend you to others before even doing business with you themselves).
- Service. Provide superior, unsurpassed, unbelievably good, outstanding service.
- Confirm. Have you provided superior service and is anyone unhappy with any aspect of what you’ve done? Find out by either asking directly or listening to feedback from your clients.
- Ask. A great time to ask for a referral is immediately after you receive a compliment, “Would you be willing to share that with your friends?
- Identify. Help your client think about who would be a good prospect for you
- Introduce. Ask whether your client is willing to provide you with an introduction or if it’s okay for you to just contact the referral. Make sure it’s fine for you to use your current client’s name when contacting the referral.
- Meet. Approach the referral immediately and appropriately. “I’ve been working with your friend/partner/associate Bob and he suggested I give you a call and I promised that I would…”
If you ask too early (or ask someone who’s not 100% satisfied), one of two things is likely to happen…
- You’ll get NO referrals; or
- You’ll get some referrals, but they won’t be strong and you will have turned down the enthusiasm of your client.
Either way, not only have you wasted the referral opportunity, but you've probably also jeopardized your current prospect. As my grandfather used to say, "don't jump the gun, hold your horses, don't get ahead of yourself, wait a hot minute." Instead, follow the seven steps above and you'll see a better return on your ask.