Your current customers and clients are your biggest fans…are you asking for referrals on a consistent basis? If not, it’s time to get busy!

The advantages of working by referral are obvious, so why don’t we do it more often? It’s incredibly cost effective, it usually shortens the average sales cycle, and the rate of conversion from prospect to sale is exponentially better than selling cold.

So why don’t many good sales professionals ask for referrals more consistently? In our experience, there are two primary reasons. The first, believe it or not, is fear. The second, it just simply gets out of our radar…we just forget to do it.

Fear of asking for referrals.
Are you afraid to ask for referrals? If so, think of the following to help you overcome this fear.

  1. It feels good to help people: Asking for a referral is basically asking someone for help. You like helping people, so give someone else that gift!
  2. No is a perfectly acceptable response. Have you ever been told no? See, you survived! Whew! No is just a no for now. Don’t let this stop you from asking!
  3. Your clients love you! Remember that you are asking your fans to help you. These are people who know your value and know how awesome you are! Tell them that you think they are awesome too… and then ask for a referral!

Forgetting to ask for referrals.

It’s OK to admit that sometimes things get out of your radar. If you’re a busy and successful sales professional, you have a lot on your plate. But studies show that the more you ask for referrals, the more referrals you get. It’s not rocket science.

  1. Create daily reminders. Use your Outlook calendar, your smartphone or your tablet to automatically give you reminders. The more you do it, the less of a chance it can get out of your radar.
  2. Create a “sales call” checklist. After every sales conversation (yes, even talking to existing clients is considered a sales call) pull out your checklist and make sure you’ve done everything. Ask questions to identify a need? Check. Create a next step? Check. Ask for a referral. Oops! That’s OK, follow up with an email or a phone call, and ask then.
  3. Schedule time. Create weekly time blocks to call and talk with the people who love you the most (at work) and ask for a referral. Create rewards for yourself and make it fun.

We all know the benefits of working by referral, some of us just may need to be more purposeful about doing so.

This article is a guest post by Dr. Cynthia McGovern who is the First Lady of Sales at Orange Leaf Consulting. The firm specializes in helping title agencies to grow their business and create sustainable sales processes. The original article can be found here.