How to Get High-Quality Sales Referrals

how to get high quality referrals

Every day, there are more than 2.4 million brand-related conversations in the US. Are people talking about your company?

Referrals transform a business from operable to booming. In fact, 65% of new business comes from referrals. As you increase your referrals, you increase your profit. Sure, referrals are hard to track, but they’re worth the work.

If you can master the art of referrals, your company will go from zero to 100 much quicker. Here’s how a lucrative referral process works.

Prime the Pump for A Referral

Talk about referrals before a customer even signs up as your client. Integrate key phrases like:

“Here’s why our customers send us referrals,”

“We’ve grown so much because of our customers’ referrals,” and

“People like to refer us because we work hard to take care of our customers.”

These remarks set the expectation that your clients refer new customers. And you should be straightforward about why you try to keep them satisfied. Tell customers you want them to be happy so they can send you other people to help too.

Ask for Referrals at the Right Time

People feel great immediately after they find relief. If you’re relieving a pain point for your customer, ask them for referrals as soon as their problem goes away. Otherwise, they forget how bad things were before you solved their issue.

Think about it like an illness. If my stomach hurt and your miracle pill made my stomach ache go away, I’d be so excited that I’d tell other people about it. But a week later, I may have forgotten my stomach ever hurt. If you wait too long to get referrals, the pain will have become too distant.

Plus, with the right timing, incentives for referrals become less important. Sure, it’s nice to offer a free month for a referral. But, if people are pleased with your product, they’ll want to recommend you to others with or without a bonus.

Know Your Referral Numbers

Do you know exactly how many referrals you got last month and where they came from? If you don’t, you have a problem. First, identify where your referrals come from. Anytime you get a client, ask them how they came to learn about your company. Make it part of the signup process.

People trust friends and family for referrals more than any type of advertising. Yet those referrals rarely show up as you calculate your website traffic or the effectiveness of your mailer.

So ask, “How did you find out about us? Did anyone recommend us?” every time you onload a new client. Then, if you see a trend, try to replicate it.

Say Thank You

Think about how much each lead costs. When someone gives you that lead for free, that’s cause for over-the-top gratification. You can’t forget to say thank you.

There are two ways to thank someone who refers you.

1. Refer them to others.

If they referred you, return the favor. Take the time to find a few people who may benefit from their business and make a recommendation.

2. Give a thoughtful gift.

A thoughtful gift shows how much you value the recommendation they gave. Consider giving gift cards to restaurants or other places you know they enjoy, or even choosing a bottle of wine. Monetary gifts are great, but thoughtful gifts help you stand out as someone who offers superior service.

Every customer has connections to at least three other potential customers. The only thing that keeps you from getting those referrals is failing to ask. Make referrals part of your organization’s culture and watch your business grow more than ever.


How to Reverse Engineer Sales Referrals

Reverse Engineer Sales Referrals

2.4 million: the number of brand-related conversations in the US each day. The question: Are they talking about you?

Referrals are the number one marketing tool for any company relying on new business. In fact, studies show that typically 65% of a company’s new business comes from referrals. Why? Customers trust their friends and family, at least in relation to product recommendations. These referred customers are then 4 times more likely to buy, 18% more loyal, and spend 13.2% more than the non-referred customer.

No brand, no company can afford to ignore referrals.

5 Tips for Getting the Referral

You know you need the referrals, but how do you get them? These five tips will help you put routines into practice to boost those life-giving referrals.

1. Identify where the clients are coming from.

If you don’t already know, then it’s time to see the role referrals currently play in your company. Take a look at the last 1-2 months of transactions and figure out where those customers came from. The most important question to ask yourself when you sign on a customer is, “How did we get them? ” Good sales managers, or sales directors, spend their energy replicating successful activity. If you don’t have a way of determining which activities are profitable, then you’ll spend too much time on the unproductive ones.

Now, put a number to the referrals. For example, if you discover that 10% of your customers are referred to you, start setting goals to increase that 10%. By knowing your base number, you can better measure your efforts to increase it.

2. Compare your referrals with your competitors’ referrals.

See if you can identify the percentage of clients your competitor receives from referrals. For example, if you sell insurance for State Farm, call another State Farm office. If you discover that they get 20% of their business from referrals and you gain 10%, it’s time to figure out what they’re doing differently.


3. Embed the referral process in your sales conversation

Gaining a referral can be as easy as changing your email signature. If you add a tagline that says, “Ask me why most of my customers are referred!”, you’ve now opened up communication with your clients about referrals and planted the seed for them to refer someone new.

There’s no need to create a referral program or to offer blatant incentives for referrals. It’s better if customers refer because they were genuinely pleased with you. Go beyond offering a great product. Wow people. It’s not as difficult as it may sound.

In a world where most salespeople aren’t doing much to personalize their sales technique, go out of your way to be helpful and kind. Then, call the client after you meet to check in. Most people don’t take the time to make a follow-up call. If you do, your efforts stand out.

4. Ask for the referral.

As a part of that follow-up call, be direct in asking for a referral. After all, you’ve earned it. This part is difficult for some people, but simply saying, “Hey, you know how awesome I am. Could you tell someone else about it?” can do the trick.

Another approach (one you’ll see most every insurance agent do) is asking the client, “Do you have your phone handy?” Of course everyone does. After the client pulls out the phone, the agent says, “While I fill out this paperwork, is there any way you could look through your phone and see some people who would buy what I sell? If you could just look through your call history and pick out three names of people who wouldn’t mind if I call, that’d be great.”

There are plenty of ways to ask. Just find a way that works for you and your clients.

5. Refer those who refer you.

Go above and beyond to thank those who refer you. Maybe you take them to lunch, buy them a gift, or best of all, refer them in their respective industries.

A referral saves you time and earns you money. Imagine you’re in a business where you acquire ten customers a year. If someone refers you just one customer, they just saved you hours of cold calling, hours of countless appointments, hours of follow up with people. If it takes you 100 calls to get two appointments and you only close 50% of those, that referral is worth a lot of time and effort. So give your thanks, put in the work, and keep the referrals coming.

People trust who they know, so use referrals to your advantage. As customers continue their 2.4 million conversations each day about brands, make yourself a part of them.

What’s Holding You Back From Getting More Referrals?

Getting More ReferralsI’ve got some groundbreaking news for you. If you don’t ask for referrals, you’ll never get any.

Have you ever seen the guys walking down the street with some unimaginably beautiful girl and sat there thinking “Wow. This guy is seriously punching above his weight…” Guess how that happened? He asked.

There’s really nothing to lose when asking for a referral. If you’re concerned it might damage the relationship, it’s likely you haven’t set the stage and built sufficient rapport and it’s this which has made it a problem in the first place. This means that asking for referrals is not the issue, but rather your technique is. Here are three solid strategies for getting more referrals by building the process into your sales strategy.

1. The 20 Names Technique

This one really is an oldie-but-a-goodie and has been earning insurance salespeople hundreds of thousands of dollars in referrals for many years now. Adjust the script as necessary for your industry and, to start the strategy, take out a blank piece of paper and write on it the numbers 1 to 20.

“Say, Mr. Prospect I’m glad you see the value in life insurance. It’s super important. You know, I build my business not by cold calling people but by asking my smart clients who they might know that I may also be able to help. I’ve got some paperwork to do quickly, so here’s bit of paper. Just fill in as many names as you like. [If you see them procrastinating] Oh, just pick some people from your cell phone book and, by the way if you do know anyone, there’s a referral fee in it for you for each one that signs up.”

2. The Sale is Secondary Technique

This is another classic strategy that works as kind of pre-emptive approach to asking for referrals. The strategy should be used before the sales pitch and then capitalized on after the pitch is complete. It also serves to alleviate some of the pressure that may be felt by the prospect if they’re concerned about the hard sell.

“You know Mr. Prospect getting the sale today is really a secondary thing for me. I built my business on referrals from people I meet with to get me put in touch with other people they think I may be able to help. Let me show you what I offer, why it’s valuable and, if it’s not for you, that’s no problem and you can let me know anyone that you think may be able to benefit.”


3. The Vendor Referral Strategy

This is another awesome referral strategy that’s even caught me by surprise a number of times, working especially well in business to business sales. One of the key areas of resistance when it comes to referrals is that your prospects are worried about breaking trust with people by giving their contact details to a salesperson. If you sense reluctance from your prospect, try something like the following:

“You know, I understand if you don’t want to share contact information with some of your friends or customers, but what about some of the other companies you do business with? As you’re a paying customer of theirs, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind you referring them to me, especially as I know you’re happy with the job I’ve done in helping you with your own solution. If it helps, I can actually think of one or two of the vendors I do business with that I think you can help, too.”

When the time comes for you to call your new referral, open a conversation letting them know that you’ve just been referred to them by one of their biggest customers. This dissolves the whole ‘friend or foe’ potential opener and gets you off to a strong start.

The fact is, if you got on the phone right now and asked 20 of your customers for referrals in an affable way that was thought-out with a little planning, you’d book enough appointments to keep you busy for two weeks.