handshakeYou must earn the right to ask for referrals—which is why your clients are your best possible Referral Sources.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.”

While social media can be a valuable sales tool, not everyone who hosts a blog or posts on social media knows what they’re talking about. Often the misguided opinions expressed about sales send me into a spin.

For example, I recently read a comment stream in which someone said that you can ask for referrals from anyone you meet and that it’s often easier to get referrals from new contacts than from existing clients.

That’s outrageous (and completely untrue) advice!

Earn the Right to Ask

Referral selling is the most personal selling you can do. Referrals are based on trust, which means you must earn the right to ask. This is why your existing clients are your best possible source for referrals, because with them, you’ve definitely earned that right.

You don’t even have to wait until your solution is implemented and producing ROI. You can ask:

  • During the sales process when you’ve added value
  • When your client has thanked you
  • Those with whom you and your team interact during the implementation process

Existing clients are our best—and often most under-leveraged—source of referrals. Why? Because our existing clients:

  • Know first-hand the value of our solutions
  • Can attest to the ROI they’ve received from working with us
  • Trust us (or else they wouldn’t do business with us)

There’s No Shame in Asking for Referrals

This so-called expert continued with this appalling statement:  “Don’t use the word ‘referral.’”

What other word would you use? This is a duplicitous, ingenuous, sleazy tactic. To hide your true intentions suggests that you’re either dishonest or that you believe asking for referrals is pushy, salesy, or intrusive.

Let’s clear this up right now: Asking for a referral is NOT asking for a favor. Referrals are positive, powerful, and upright. Referrals are built on truth and integrity. Think of all the referrals you easily and willingly provide.

When we refer, we help out everyone involved—including ourselves. We introduce a credible resource and save the other person valuable time. In addition, we are elevated in the mind of the recipient.

Don’t be coy or beat around the bush. When you ask for a referral with confidence, your Referral Source knows exactly the person you want to meet and gladly introduces you.

Ask for referrals from people you know and trust—including your terrific clients.

Comment Here

Who do you find to be your best source of referrals? When do you feel that you have earned the right to ask for referrals? Share your best referrals stories here.