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How Asking For Referrals Can Increase Your Sales Effectiveness By 25%

Referrals are one of the most effective ways of finding new prospects in sales—in fact, in some industries, the majority of a business’s customers find them through referrals. 

When it comes right down to it, this isn’t surprising. People are far more likely to give a product or service a shot if they’ve had it recommended by someone they trust.


But, as a salesperson, how do you ask for a sales referral from one of your clients? 

This is the question this article will answer, explaining who to ask for referrals and how to ask them in the first place. If this is of interest to you, read on!

asking for referrals

Why Asking for Referrals Is So Important

So, why is it so important to ask for referrals in the first place?

In short, they can drastically increase the number of prospects you get, as people are more likely to try your services after getting a recommendation from someone they know and trust.


Basically, you can think of customer referrals as free advertising!

Prospects who are referred to your company by someone else already have a measure of trust in your business, meaning that the sales process is likely to move along much faster and smoother.


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Who to Ask for Sales Referrals

Of course, you shouldn’t ask just any customer for a referral. Why? Because there has to be a certain level of trust between you before you can make such a request.

When seeking referrals in sales, make sure you ask someone with whom you’ve forged a strong, trusting relationship.


Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long have they been with our company? If they’ve only been a customer for a short while, someone else may be a better candidate.
  • How much have you spoken? If you spring a referral request on them out of the blue, they may be surprised.
  • Do they seem satisfied with your services? You obviously wouldn’t want to ask someone who’s had a bad experience.



How to Ask for Sales Referrals

Now that we’ve explained the importance of referrals and have detailed what sort of customer you should ask, we now come to the most important part of this article: how to ask for a referral.

Asking a customer if they’d consider recommending your services to someone else is always a nerve-wracking experience.


But if you follow our advice on how to ask for referrals in sales, you should find that the entire process goes far more smoothly than you’d expect.


Time it Right

One of the more important tips we can give is to make sure you wait until the right time to ask. As we’ve already mentioned, you ideally want to ask someone who has been with you for a while and who has had a positive experience with you.

But, more than that, you want to time your request properly and ask at a time when they have just benefited from your services.


Perhaps they’ve purchased a new product from you, or perhaps you quickly resolved an issue they were having with a service of yours.

Whatever it is, asking after you’ve provided some great customer service is always a good idea.


referrals make a difference


Offer Incentives

When thinking about how to ask for business referrals, you should also consider the possibility of offering incentives.

For example, you could offer an incentive program including discounts, gift cards, or charity donations.


You could even add a little urgency to this program by only offering it to the first ten people to refer a customer.

Another popular incentive model for referrals is when you offer to give both your customer and their referral a discount if the referral signs up for your services.


Use Email Templates

When asking for referrals, half of the challenge is making sure that you phrase your request correctly.

One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t make any slip-ups is by using an email template to make your request—one that puts the question forward in a polite, gracious way.


Ensure that you personalize the email, too. People can sense when you’ve just sent them a cold, lifeless script, so take the time to cater it to your customer.

Making that effort will remind your client of the strong relationship between the two of you.



Another way you can encourage your customers to refer your business to others is by returning the favor, sharing their work and ideas within your business network.

This doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. In fact, it might be as simple as sharing a link to their latest blog post on your LinkedIn page.


What matters is that it shows your thoughtfulness and care.

Your client is bound to appreciate you sharing their work with others. When eventually you ask them if they’d mind referring you to someone else, they will be happy to do so.



Asking for Business Referrals Is Crucial for Growth

Business referrals are very important—but asking for them can still be daunting.

Fear of rejection can result in many people missing out on this excellent opportunity to grow their businesses.


But we hope that, after reading this article, you now feel that you know how to ask for referrals from existing clients.

This knowledge will help you grow your business, leading to successful sales conversions and boosting your overall revenue in the long run. 


So, the next time you find yourself hesitating about whether or not to request a referral from a customer, remember our advice. We’re sure you’ll smash it!

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