Do you ask for referrals or do you just hope they’ll fall in your lap because of your amazing service? I ask almost all of my coaching clients this question and I’m still shocked at the answers. Too often, even experienced sales professionals don’t know how to get referrals; they just hope great service will automatically lead to an avalanche of new business.
Sorry folks – referrals don’t work that way. You absolutely have to ask for them.
You may get a few referrals because people think of you and want you to help their friends the same way, but it’s not an effective way to try to grow your business.
Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, or lazy. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.
— Dew Tinnin (@SalesCoachDew) November 30, 2013
Sales professionals need to create a habit of consistently asking for referrals; and it’s just as important that you ask in the right way.
How To Get Referrals: Ask Using Trigger Words
Start with “Who else do you know…” and then use trigger words to create a story to help them think of specific people you can help.
For example, if you are in the mortgage industry:
The Wrong Way: “If you know someone who is purchasing or refinancing a home, I hope you think of me.” This is way too generic.
The Right Way: “Josh, I’m so thankful I was able to help you and Katie purchase your new home before your baby was born. I love working with new homeowners and growing families. Who else do you know who has a growing family?”
This is just an example – the point is not to just get referrals from new families – you can swap out the trigger words fit the scenario.
“Who else do you know who is…”
- buying a second home,
- having a baby,
- sending their kids to college,
- getting married,
- getting divorced, etc.
Trigger words create a specific story and help your clients “see” the faces of the people that you could also help. And since you just gave them great customer service, they can feel confident that you will provide that same great service to their friends and family who are in the same boat.
This technique works in all industries. Just swap out the trigger words. Spend some time thinking of the trigger words you can use to paint the picture of someone you’d like to be referred to.
Until next time – go sell some stuff!