When’s the Right Time to Ask for a Referral?

Hint: It’s never too soon, it’s always too late

When should I ask for referrals? A common question from salespeople, but more of a concern that reflects the discomfort many of us feel when we ask for referrals. We don’t want to appear pushy, or salesy, or arrogant, so we push asking for referrals further and further out in our sales process.

Many think we should wait until we sign a deal, others think when the client implements, and yet others feel they can’t ask until they client sees an ROI on their solution. We wait and we wait, and often the relationship with the initial buyer is so far removed, that we never ask. Referrals do not just happen, you have to ask.

What’s the lesson here? That we should never lose touch with our buyer and all the other individuals we work with during the sales and implementation process.

But you need to earn the right to ask for referrals. You’ve definitely earned the right when you receive a referral to your client, during the sales process when you added value and your client thanked you, and with all of the people you and your team interact with during the implementation process.

So, it’s never too soon to ask for referrals, to follow up, or to get an introduction. Remember, when your Referral Source introduces you, they actually help the other person. They introduce you, a credible resource, and save the other person a ton of time and contribute to his success.

Remember to Say, Thank You

It’s never too soon to say thank you. Thank your Referral Source for introducing you—with a phone call, an email, and most importantly, with a personal, handwritten note. You can’t say thank you enough.

Your Referral Source wants to know that he made a good introduction, and you need to confirm that with your thank you. Now he knows good referrals for you, and he will continue to think of great sales prospects.

It’s never too soon…it’s always too late.

Join the Conversation

It’s more than please and thank you. How do you ask, follow-up, stay in touch, and say thanks? Share the wealth and join the No More Cold Calling referral-sales community.

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