Referrals are a recommendation from a satisfied customer or trusted network of people you interact with, i.e. your center of influence. If you’re in sales and you aren’t asking your customers or sphere of influence for referrals, you’re leaving money on the table. But what are the best practices for asking for referrals? Nick Kane shares his referral-selling dos and don’ts in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Check it out!
You have to make sure that you’re building strong relationships with customers, both existing and prospects. Provide excellent service and support and satisfy your client’s needs. How well do you understand their needs and pain points? Are you helping them solve their problems? A positive customer experience is the foundation of gaining referrals. Happy customers share information and open their networks to you. Secondly, you should create a referral program. Incentivize customers to send people your way.
Salespeople tend to ask for a referral at the wrong time. Make sure you approach the customer at the right time in the right way. How you ask must be genuine. You need to establish a relationship first. Make sure the customer has a positive relationship with you and that you’ve done good by them.
Salespeople also struggle to explain the value proposition and what’s in it for the customer. You need to find a way to make it advantageous for them to provide referrals. Ask tactfully and let the customer know what’s in it for both of you. Customers want their salespeople to be successful as long as you’re helping them to be successful as well.
Who are your loyal and satisfied customers? Who's had the most positive experience and is most likely to refer others? Segment your database to understand who’s most likely to offer a referral. Who interacts with your prospect? Where are those conversations happening? How can you leverage influence from someone in a position of influence?
You can also customers who have already referred others to refer more people. If they’re willing to refer their network, it can expand your referral opportunities.
Why does Nick recommend surveying your clients regularly? Listen to the whole episode to learn more!
You should be tracking the number of referrals generated as a lead source in your CRM. Know exactly where those referrals come from. Follow each of those referrals through the pipeline. How many turned into opportunities? What is the size of those opportunities? How many converted into a sale? What is the customer lifetime value of the customer relationship? Treat the referrals as their own lead source and track them as such.
Nick shares some strong dos and don’ts every salesperson should consider:
Learn more from Nick in this episode of Sales Reinvented!
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Jamie Crosbie is a highly accomplished senior executive and motivational speaker with expertise in sales leadership, talent acquisition, and management. She has achieved significant revenue growth, managed large sales teams, authored books, and consults in sales talent acquisition, strategic planning, and Peak Performance Mindset® Workshops. Jamie's workshops help companies set new sales records and create a more positive sales environment.