B2B sales representatives invest a lot of time in developing new possibilities. Others must rely on their cold outreach approach and tenacity to keep their pipelines filled, while some are fortunate enough to have a regular flow of incoming leads. Referrals are a useful but underused method for generating sales chances. Although most salespeople don’t use them, referrals are a fantastic strategy to get new clients.
There are primarily two factors that prevent salesmen from succeeding with referrals. The first is that asking a customer for their name and a brief introduction can be uncomfortable for many salesmen. They don’t request the recommendation at the appropriate time, which is the second cause. Both of these obstacles will be removed, and we’ll give you a solid plan that will greatly increase your chances of getting a recommendation.
The Worth of a Reference
Nothing is more gratifying than a client recommending you to someone they know and vouching on your behalf that you can deliver the results they require. After all, a happy customer is evidence that you did what you promised. Referrals are effective since the source of the introduction wouldn’t speak well of you or your business if they weren’t satisfied with the outcomes.
Even if the individual you are being recommended to may not currently have a need, the reference is still significant. Because this is frequently the case, you should employ a sales strategy when dealing with a referral that creates additional opportunities for you and better outcomes for them.
Why Salespeople Avoid Requesting Referrals
Think about the following example: A salesperson successfully onboards a new client, and the results are well-received by their contact. As time goes by, the salesperson moves on to other deals, and the contact hasn’t heard from them in six months. They find themselves in a difficult situation as a result since they are hesitant to ask their contact to make a friendly connection on their behalf.
Although you’re encouraged to think that relationships don’t matter in sales anymore, they do since they foster trust. You need to keep up your connections if you want to develop a referral strategy that works. This involves time and effort, just like any other connection you may have. The approach that follows will increase your capacity for referral generation.
What to ask for a referral?
Timing is a factor in why salesmen have difficulty asking for references. Most people miss the opportunity to ask for references because it occurs sooner than they anticipate. If you wait too long to ask for the introduction, it will feel awkward to do so because it will have been too long since you gave your client something of value. The majority of salesmen dislike requesting introductions for this reason. Asking for a referral is actually equally as common as cold phoning.
The moment your client signs the contract and sees an improvement in their outcomes is the ideal time to ask them for a warm introduction when developing a referral plan. This tactic depends on the timing and wording you employ. “When I create the results we’re going to offer, if everything is flawless, may I ask you for an introduction to someone in your network who could need help with the same results?” you ask as your client signs your sales contract.
The recommendation is dependent on your capacity to produce the desired outcomes. In the event that you are unable to deliver the improved results they require, your new client is not required to make an introduction. Your client will easily say yes to your request.
How to Get Ready to Request a Referral
You call your client to provide an update on your progress after you and your business are operating and generating results. You also make sure they are happy with the outcomes. When you accomplish a goal, get in touch with your contact again. You won’t feel as though you merit the introduction to a potential client without consistent communication.
You will have satisfied the requirements set forth in the contingency agreement you and your contact created after your client has the better results they require and can articulate the difference you have made for them. They agreed to put you in touch with someone at that time, providing you met your commitments. You need a satisfied consumer if you want to get a referral. Now you possess one. It won’t be weird to phone your contact and inquire either because of your constant conversation.
Requesting a Referral
The optimum time to request a reference is during a meeting. It ought to be integrated into your sales procedure. Start by determining whether your contact is satisfied with the outcomes you delivered. When they affirm, for example, “My best business comes from recommendations. Can you recommend and introduce me to someone who could require the same outcomes that we gave you? It would be good if you could let them know that I won’t waste their time when I ask them to meet with me for 20 minutes.”
Your customer might be concerned that you’ll start acting like a pushy salesperson and make them regret making the introduction. They can also want to make sure you deliver the same outcomes because they don’t want to look bad. Saying “I am not going to hound the person, and if we do any business together, I will keep you posted on how we are doing with them” could be a risk-reduction strategy.
Launch a Referral Program.
Because they originate from reliable sources, referrals are a great tool for salespeople. A reference is an introduction from a person your potential client is familiar with, respects, and trusts. This lowers the chance that the customer will make a poor choice and raises the possibility of a sale. Furthermore, since the customer already has a favorable image of you and your business, referrals have a higher conversion rate than cold leads. A productive referral program can boost revenue, foster relationships, and expand your company.
Salespeople must invest time in developing connections with their clients and earning their confidence in order to create a successful referral program. Don’t wait too long after the contract has been signed to ask for a referral; rather, do it as soon as the customer is satisfied with the outcomes you have provided. Provide the recommended customer with the same degree of service that you would give to the one who made the introduction. Offering a risk reversal is crucial to lowering your customer’s anxiety about making the introduction. You may develop effective referral programs that can help you generate sales and meet your sales goals by utilizing these techniques.