We all know business referred from an existing customer is our ideal way to win new business, yet I regularly get asked how to ask for referrals. So I will share with you a tried tested and proven formula.
Rule number 1
If you don’t ask you don’t get.
Simply asking others for help will give you a better result than not asking at all.
Rule number 2
There are good times to ask.
There are three times that you can ask for referrals and I would encourage you to ask on each of these occasions.
- When you have just secured an order
- When you have just delivered your product or service
- When you have just successfully handled a complaint or resolved an issue
Rule number 3
Know exactly what to say.
You don’t have to follow this example exactly, but there are a few key words that are essential, so these are highlighted in bold.
You couldn’t do me a small favour?
Do you know one person like you who would benefit from ….?
Rule number 4
Don’t take the name and number when first offered.
When your referral source offers you a referral, your first action must be to thank them for it. However, do not take the contact details. It is essential you ask if they will contact the person and gain permission for you to contact them direct. Once this has been done, you can guarantee your call will be taken by the prospect.
Rule number 5
Make it ok if they have not yet made the call.
When you make your follow-up call, open your conversation by saying, “I am guessing that you have not got round to calling …?” This will make them feel that it is all right if they have not yet called, and they will typically call straight after. Alternatively, it makes them feel great that they have already called and will pass you the contact details immediately.
You now have a valuable referral formula that is best positioned to lead to new business!