The Right Time To Ask For Referrals

Word ReferralSo many sales professionals struggle with the best time to talk about referrals. For example, many Realtors don’t want to bring up the subject of referrals until they have gone to settlement. They are afraid they will jinx something. Realtors aren’t the only ones who wait until the sales process is over before they bring up referrals.

The problem with this mentality is that if you wait until the sales process is complete, you have missed a tremendous opportunity. For many people in sales, once the sale is complete, you don’t have continued contact with your client. Maybe you turn them over to a customer service department, or in the case of a realtor, they might not need your services again for another 3 to 5 years. Waiting until the end of the sale to bring up referrals creates the possibility that you might never receive referrals.

When you meet with a new prospect, do you explain how your company operates? Do you talk about the value of what you offer, the time frame before a proposal or installation? Or, if you are a financial advisor or mortgage lender, do you provide them with a list of information you need from them? This is the exact time when you need to plant the seeds that you do business by referral. This is the time to tell them that as they are going through the process with you, if they like the way you work with them, if they like the results they are seeing, then you would like them to tell their friends and family.

Keep the reticular activator in mind – that is the part of the brain that stays on alert. Have you ever bought a new car, driven off the lot and all of a sudden everyone around you has the same car? That is your reticular activator working. The same applies with your client/prospect. While working with you, they will encounter other people looking for the same product/service. Your job is to let them know that you would like to talk to these people as well. Explain the reticular activator to them and they will understand.

Also let them know that you are building your business by referral intentionally. Doing so allows you to spend more time with your clients and add better service since you don’t have to spend as much time marketing and looking for new clients. When clients are referred you have a greater chance of bringing them on as clients.

Don’t be afraid to bring up referrals as part of your initial meeting with your prospects and clients. Also don’t be afraid to remind them along the way, especially when they sing your praises!