If you’re in sales, asking for referrals should be second nature.
In today’s competitive world, there are many ways that one could market their products or services. Amongst all the many marketing strategies, referrals are one of the most effective yet inexpensive strategies. This is because all you have to do is to impress one customer and encourage them to spread word about your business. Referrals, unlike many other marketing strategies, carry a lot of weight due to their immediate credibility. Below are proven methods of how to ask for excellent referrals.
Help your clients by showing them how to refer you
Many clients who are satisfied with your services would want to help you get more clients. They would want to refer their colleagues, friends, and relatives to you. Unfortunately, we do not let our customers know how best they can refer our business without them feeling awkward about it. Below are some ways you can use to help your clients refer you:
- You can help your clients by giving them business cards to dish out to any prospective customer
- You could provide your business brochures and catalogues to clients that they can use to explain what you offer and why you are better
- Tell your clients exactly what to say i.e. explain to them what you offer and why you are the best
Do not fear rejection
Many people are afraid to ask for referrals since they fear being turned away or they fear a negative response from their clients. It is true that some customers may not be comfortable in referring you to others but the worst they can do is just say “No”. This is a small cost compared to the many people who will be willing to refer you and bring you much more business.
Other people feel that asking for referrals makes them appear desperate or intrusive. This should not be the case. If you offer good services or products, many people will actually want to help market your services.
Know when to ask for referrals
The timing of when to ask the customer to provide this voluntary service is crucial. It is best to wait until the client is very happy about your services and you have their trust. For example, when you ask a client to make some referrals for you just before you give them a loan, they are more likely to do it than if you asked them to refer you when they are not sure if they will get the loan or not.
Give incentives for referrals
This might seem expensive but it really works and the benefits can be tremendous. For example you, if you sent a customer a small gift for bringing you a new customer, you can be sure that they will refer many more customers to you. You might especially want to reward customers who have the potential to bring huge business contracts your way.
You could also come up with a plan where you reward any client who refers business to you by offering them a percentage of the money earned from the new customer.
Forge strong customer relationships
Make sure that you keep customer relationships even after completing the transaction. Keep up communication and always let them know of any improvements that they could benefit from. As you communicate with them, be sure to ask them for referrals.