Stop Selling! Learn How To Ask For Sales Referrals And They Will Buy With Velocity!28 June 2010 4:17 pm Sales Training
A referral initiates instant trust and reduces your selling cycle time. The time it takes the referred client to buy is usually much less than any other lead source. What this really means is less hassle and more sales.
As previously stated in a former article, you can ask anyone for a sales referral. In the business to business world, we generally ask clients and prospects. Clients are the best referral source because they know you and they know your products or services. It is always wise to ask a satisfied client for a referral, and also request a testimonial letter.
You can also ask prospects for a referral. Suppose you call a prospect only to discover that your product or service is not suitable for their needs. You can still ask for a sales referral at the end of your call. It is always wise to take advantage of an opportunity. If the prospect does not wish to do so, nothing has been lost. However, very often they will graciously provide you with a referral. Another door is opened.
Only ask for sales referrals at the end of your visit or contact. I always advise you wait until AFTER you have completed your primary objective. It may seem easy to request a sales referral but some finesse is required. This is an example of the wrong way to ask for a referral:
“Jim, do you know of anyone who might be interested in my services?”
This is NOT the recommended method because it is far too easy for your customer or prospect to say, “Ahh? No.” That type of ‘no’ retort is often reflexive in nature; an automatic response to a closed ended question. In other words, they respond negatively out of habit. You will miss another great opportunity.
The BETTER way to ask for the sales referral is:
“Sandy, can you give me a name or two of someone you know who might be interested in these types of products?”
The difference is subtle but significant. By asking for a ‘name’, your client has to THINK about names. It is not quite as easy to give you a dismissive ‘no’. Usually, prospects tend to do a mental scan of friends and associates. This scanning pause helps reduce the automatic, reflexive ‘no’ response.
Of course, they can and sometimes will say ‘no’. Nevertheless, by asking for a name you increase your odds and improve your chances for success. It is as simple as the Velocity Selling System found in my book Up Your Bottom Line.
Another interesting fact is sales referrals demonstrate good behaviour. Ensure those giving you referrals also get rewarded. Remember, any behaviour that gets recognized or rewarded, gets repeated. Ask about our referral reward program and let me know about yours; consequently, I can help you get more business.
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