Every single customer you have can be a useful source of referrals. You can use your satisfied customers to introduce you to their contacts and network. Customers who have benefited from your product or service are usually more than happy to refer you to their colleagues, friends, family and acquaintances.
Although you may occasionally receive unprompted referrals as a result of helping customers to get what they want, the wise salesperson makes securing referrals a part of their regular selling habits.
Here are some ideas on how to get more referrals:
You need to get the customer into the right mental mind-set to recall people who they can refer you to and here are some ways to achieve this:
“Mr Customer, you have been in (industry/business e.g IT) for many years. I guess that you have met lots of other (insert trade/position e.g. IT Directors) haven’t you? If I asked you to write down the details of four or five of these people you could do that couldn’t you?”
Please not the use of “If I asked you…” The “If” softens the request. You are not directly asking him to write them down; you are merely exploring the possibility that they might!
“Please can I ask your advice? Which one should I approach first to tell them how they can benefit?”
The customer will usually offer a name.
“It’s alright to use your name so they can take my call, isn’t it?”
If the customer is comfortable and receptive then you can ask for further names.
Another variation that you can use is:
“Would you happen to know two or three people who might be interested in our product or service?”
The customer will usually say they know two people.
“Would you have their telephone numbers?”
The customer will usually reply yes.
“Which one would you contact first?
The customer will tell you the name of the person, let’s say his name is Phil.
“Can I ask you a huge favour? Would you call Phil and tell him I’m coming over to see him?”
This is a rather bold approach, but in the right situation it does get great results. Remember that fortune favours the brave!
A slightly less bold approach is to ask the customer to write down the referral details on the back of your business card along with a personal message such as, “This product has been very useful for me.”
When you get your appointment with the new prospective customer (having used the name of your existing customer who referred you) you can give them your business card as usual and then ask them to turn it over and read the message written to them on the back. This gets the sales process of to a positive start.
Referrals are an easy and effective way to get lots of new customers from your existing customers.
When these new customers sign up for your product and service they, in turn, generate a new set of referrals and so the process continues.
Simon Hazeldine MSc FinstSMM is an international speaker and consultant in the areas of sales, negotiation, performance leadership and applied neuroscience.
He is the bestselling author of five business books:
· Neuro-Sell: How Neuroscience Can Power Your Sales Success
· Bare Knuckle Selling
· Bare Knuckle Negotiating
· Bare Knuckle Customer Service
· The Inner Winner
To learn more about Simon's keynote speeches and other services please visit:
To subscribe to Simon's hard hitting "Selling and Negotiating Power Tips newsletter please visit: