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Sales Tip: Referrals – Alter What You Ask For

Yesterday I was talking with Mike, a sharp CCTV rep about referrals. He has been working on increasing his referrals, mainly by asking for them, and it has paid off.  I asked him how his last referral conversation went. He said, “The customer was jazzed about the service I delivered,” which led him to handing over some cards and asking the customer if he would be willing to refer him to others.

When I asked him why he did not just ask for a referral right then and there, something hit me. It’s not easy for customers to know who else is in need of services you offer, but they always know someone who enjoys working with a service-minded sales rep.
I realized I have used this approach in my business and had not taken note to share it with others. Rather than asking who might be ready to buy, ask who they know that might enjoy knowing or working with someone like yourself. You might need to reassure them you’re not asking if they know someone who has an immediate need, but rather someone who would want to know about you in case they have a need in the future.

The point is to make it easy for your happy customer or client to introduce you to others. A warm introduction opens the door to a warm conversation that will eventually lead to someone that needs your product or service.

Bonus Tip: When you are given a name, ask your customer if they wouldn’t mind calling or sending them an email of introduction before you contact them.

If you need a quick role-play session on asking for referrals, contact me and I would be happy to work with you.

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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