In addition to the previous post, I want to address a question that I get very often: how to ask for a referral?
In fact it is very simple: just ask for it. Many people make up in their minds various reasons why they should NOT ask for a referral instead of the opposite. The reason is the fear of rejection.
But if you provide good products and/or services that can help people improve their business or life in any other way, why should you fear to be rejected?
However to ask a stranger for a referral is mostly not the most effective way. Why? Because he doesn’t know you yet. So if you have never asked for a referral the best place to start is with (satisfied) customers.
I recommend asking these questions to your current customers:
- Are you satisfied with our product/service?
- If they say no, you have the opportunity to turn a dissatisfied customer (who is on his way of leaving you for another supplier) into a satisfied one.
- If they say yes, ask:
- Would you recommend me/us to others?
- If they say no or hesitate, this is the same no as above.
- if they say yes, you can ask them for a name and contact data. Or even better: to bring you in touch with this third party via telephone or e-mail (an example of such an e-mail can be found in my book “Let’s Connect!”)
Many people don’t ask this question, because they assume that satisfied customers will automatically talk about them (word-of-mouth). This happens, but only in a very limited way. Think of your own situation: if you visited a superb restaurant yesterday, do you send an e-mail to all your contacts today? No. But if someone asks you today if you know a good restaurant, you would recommend the one you visited yesterday. The same applies to your products/services.
So, just ask. If your customers are satisfied they will gladly refer you to other people. They will even tell you: “Why didn’t you ask this question before?”
Try it. You will be amazed with the results !