Why can’t you get more referrals?

Why can’t you get more referrals?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer
@GITOMER

KING OF SALES, The author of thirteen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at www.GitomerLearningAcademy.com.

The definition of”referral” will surprise you, and at the same time make you understand why youdon’t get as many as you expect or ask for.

The definition of”referral” is: Risk.

Do you ask for referrals?

Do you get as many as youthink you should?

Why do people hesitatewhen you ask?

Why do people not givethem to you, or put you off?

Why do YOU hesitate toask?

Maybe you feel awkwardasking because you really don’t feel that you’ve earned the referral yet.

Here are a few questions to ponder if you didn’tget what you asked for:

Did they like you enough?

Did they trust youenough?

What did you do todeserve it?

Did you deliver more thanpromised?

Did you serve them at thehighest level possible?

What did you do that wasmemorable?

What did they risk bygiving a referral to you?

Giving a referral is arisk. Is your customer willing to take that risk by referring you? Are theywilling to risk a friendship or relationship they have by referring someone toyou?

Or more powerfullystated, WHEN are they willing – at what point in your relationship with them wouldthey be willing to risk a friendship or relationship they have with someoneelse, by referring them to you?

Here are a few deeper questions to ponder if youdidn’t get what you asked for:

What have you done toboth earn the trust of AND reduce the risk of your customer? If “not enough” isthe answer – then it’s probably the amount of referrals you get.

REALITY: You are NOTgoing to get great (real) referrals without a high level of comfort, a historyof performance, and deep level of trust.

Referrals are the highestpercentage sales call in the universe. Would you rather have 100 cold callleads or one referral? Just checking.

Referrals are not magic,but they sure make selling seem like it – you make more sales when you havemore referrals.

Everyone wants referrals,BUT few are willing to do more than ask to get them – and some salespeople don’teven do that. There’s a way to get more referrals than you thought possible -but there are some hitches, one of which is hard work on your part.

What’s the best way to get a referral?

Don’t ask for them; earnthem!

PICTURE THIS: You walkinto your best friend’s house and say, “Mary could you do me a favor? I’m lookingfor some new friends and I was wondering if you knew anybody like yourself thatyou could refer me to, and oh by the way I’m going to be selling themsomething. And if you wouldn’t mind doing an introduction for me, I’d really bea happy about that. And oh by the way, thanks.”

Doesn’t that soundludicrous? Doesn’t it seem imposing? Doesn’t it even border on rude? And yourfriend may even agree to do this for you, but in the end when it comes time toput up or shut-up, their list will be very short. Maybe even empty. Yeah, yeahthat’s it. Empty.

And you can be an evenbigger jerk by calling them up pretending to like them, by saying “And speakingof referrals, how about those friends I asked you about the other day?”

What I have justdescribed for you is what 99.9% of all salespeople do when they ask for areferral. And it is obvious from the above example that they are 100%wrong!

Anyone who asks for areferral doesn’t get it. A referral isn’t something that you ask for. Areferral is something that you earn. Oh sure you can ask for them, but it makeseveryone feel awkward and will oftentimes destroy a budding relationship.

Which brings me to mypoint.

When is the best time to ASK for a referral?

After the risk has beeneliminated.

Sales managers tellsalespeople to ask for referrals as soon as you make a sale. And sales managersare wrong. Real wrong.

After the sale has justbeen completed is the WORST time to get a referral. You haven’t delivered.There’s no relationship yet. There’s no proof of service yet. And trust istentative.

Start them thinking byasking, “Mr. Jones, if we deliver and exceed your expectations, who else wouldyou insist get this?” Let him answer. Then ask, “If we are phenomenal, wouldyou be willing to call a few associates and set up a three-way lunch?”

Now the referral outcomeis in your court. All you have to do is perform the way you promised. All youhave to do is deliver.

Asking for the referraltoo early is playing the “greed’ card.

Asking when you haveeliminated risk and built trust is the “money” card.

My measure of success asa salesperson has always been by the number of unsolicited referrals I get. That’s the report card of selling.People referring you behind your back. People referring you without asking.People calling you and wanting to buy.

How many unsolicitedreferrals do you get?

Want a method forexchanging referrals that actually works? It’s called a blueprint for referralalliances, and it’s yours by going to www.gitomer.com and entering the wordBLUEPRINT in the GitBit box.