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Referrals are one of the most efficient ways of getting more business in. It is a very low cost method that generally has an excellent conversion rate. As potentially customers are filtered by the introducer.
The best time to ask for a referral is when you have been praised or received an order.
I’m a big fan of “starting at the top” when contacting suspects. I love calling business owners, presidents, executive directors, and other important types, people who make things happen. One of the most important, reasons for this habit of mine is that the potential for referrals to other important types is so much greater when you start at the top!
But there’s certainly no law stating that you should only ask for referrals from leaders. You can ask anyone in the influence and authority network. The language you use will be essentially the same, although you may wish to tailor some of your requests to specific elements of the contact’s personality or experience.
Getting Referrals from Suspects
You’re working in your territory, try to hook up with companies that are willing to move forward with you in the sales process. If you do this regularly you’ll eventually run into people who will sing the praises of you, your selling style, your organization, or your products perhaps as a strategy for getting you off the phone or out the door! When you hear the prospect say something nice to you, seize the opportunity! Ask for a referral.
Here’s a model for what you should say to prospects who offer praise, but have no real interest in your offering;
Suspect, thanks for your nice words about our custom built decks and spas. It sounds as though you’ve already done an outstanding job at fitting your backyard to your lifestyle and liking. Is there anyone else you’d like to introduce me to help with their spa enquiry.
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