I have never met a salesperson who didn’t want to increase the number of very strong referrals that they receive. The problem is that most salespeople are out there getting only a few referrals, and to make matters worse, these scant referrals are quite weak.
As a result, they don’t get much return from their efforts of asking for referrals, and ultimately, they stop asking for referrals altogether. However, there is a solution out there for anyone who wants to receive a greater number of very strong referrals.
This article will walk you through three components to receiving a larger volume of strong referrals.
#1: Get introductions. When you ask a customer or a prospect or someone in your network for a “referral,” it’s often unclear what you are asking for. You might be looking for a reference. Or, you might be looking for names of prospects. You may even be seeking out ideas from people to actually call on.
However, when you ask for an introduction, it is totally and completely clear on what you’re asking for: You want person A to actually introduce you to person B. So from now on, get into the business of asking only for introductions.
#2: Ask for help. Help is one of the most powerful words in the entire English language, and the reason it is so powerful is because it shows vulnerability. When you ask someone who has a favorable disposition towards you for help, what does that individual want to do? That person, of course, wants to help.
Start any conversations about introductions by first asking for that person’s help. Once he or she expresses happiness at helping, then it’s time to ask for introductions to people whom he or she thinks you might be able to help.
#3: Give specific examples. So often we’ll ask for introductions from people in our world, and they’ll be happy to make introductions. However, we then say, “So who do you know? Who do you think might be a good fit for what I have to offer?”
This is casting all the burden of work onto that person instead of you yourself taking the burden of actually helping that person figure out who would be the best fit.
So next time, give people specific examples of the types of prospects you would be interested in connecting with: their specific title, the types of companies, the particular industry, their revenues, to name a few.
Whatever are the key indicators of a form-fitting client for you, be sure to share these examples with people so they will know whom to actually make the introduction to.
Achieving stronger referrals is possible simply by altering your game plan. By incorporating these three very simple steps into asking for new introductions, you will receive not only very strong introductions—but many to boot.
Do you receive lots of introductions already? Please share your approach below in the comments.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.