Referrals are the best type of prospects to work with in the sales business. But what stops sales professionals from asking for referrals? There are many reasons. Many sales people simply forget to ask for referrals. However, it’s probably not that simple. Usually, if a sales person forgets to ask for referrals there is an underlying reason. No matter how much sales representative training your sales team goes through, many of them may still not ask for referrals. If you want your team to start asking for referrals more often, it is important that you identify what keeps them from asking for referrals and correct it.
One common reason why sales people fail to ask for referrals is because they prejudge the person they are asking. They assume that the person will simply not give them a referral so they don’t bother asking. This is a mindset that has to be corrected by working with the sales representative to create new attitudes about prejudging. The fact of the matter is you never know what you are going to get until you ask.
A sales person was invited to attend a networking event. It was an expensive event to attend, so he was hesitant to go. He was pre-judging the event and was thinking about not going because he didn’t think it would be worth the investment. One of his colleagues convinced him otherwise and he went. At the event he met a gentleman that introduced him to another gentleman. That other gentleman was the founder and CEO of a company that needed the services of the sales representative. The sales representative developed a relationship and now has a customer that is worth millions of dollars to his company.
One referral from the right person could literally change the entire life of a sales representative. Therefore, it is important that your sales people have positive attitudes. You don’t want them to develop thought patterns such as assuming that a person will say no.
Another reason why many sales representatives fail to ask for referrals is that they simply don’t know when to ask. The best time to ask for a referral is immediately after making the sale. When a sale is made your new customer is very excited about the future and obviously thinks you and your company will contribute to their future success. What better time could there be to ask for referrals. Your new customer would probably be willing to give you three to five people that you could call to discuss the possibility of providing the same benefits your new customer is excited about.
Also, many clients would love to refer business to you. However, they simply have no idea who would be an ideal client for you. One way your sales people can overcome this challenge is to prepare a description of the type of businesses or people who are most likely to purchase your products and services. If you give a customer a description of your ideal prospect, the customer is more likely to not only think of someone, but think of someone who you will be able to do business with.
Referrals are not going to just happen by accident. You must have sales training for your representatives that teaches your team how and when to ask for them. If you do, it can be one of the most profitable undertakings that you can make in your business.