We all know that clients referred from an existing customer are the ideal way to win new business, but I regularly get asked how to request referrals. Today I’ll share with you a tried, tested, and proven formula.
If you don’t ask, you get nothing.
Simply asking others for help will give you a better result than not asking at all. As Wayne Gretzky (and Michael Scott) said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
There are good and bad times to ask.
There are three specific times that you can ask for referrals. I would encourage you to ask on each of these occasions.
When you just secured an order
When you just delivered your product or service
When you just successfully handled a complaint or resolved an issue
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.
Do you think you could do me a small favor?
Do you know one person like you who would benefit from…?
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’s essential that you ask if they’ll contact the person and gain permission for you to contact them directly. Once they’ve taken this step, you can guarantee the prospect will take your call.
Make it okay if they haven’t made the call yet.
When you make your follow-up call, open up your conversation by saying, “I’m guessing that you haven’t gotten around to calling…?” This will make them feel like it’s alright if they haven’t yet called, and they’ll typically call straight after.
Alternatively, it makes them feel great if they’ve already called. They’ll pass you the contact details immediately.
You now have a valuable referral formula that positions you perfectly to find new leads!