Getting referrals from current happy customers is one of the best ways to find new business in many different types of companies. Because of that, it’s important that you understand the referral process from back to front. You also need to establish techniques for requesting referrals, so you can increase business and also generate useful leads.
Why Referrals Work
Current customers who have already been a part of a sale and have an established relationship with your business already know what you offer and how your services or products meet certain needs.
In addition to that, customers often know someone else who has that exact same need. Consumer customers may have neighbors, family, or friends with a similar need. Business customers may know vendors, customers, or competitors with the need. This is to say that customers can help when it comes to prospects who are pre-qualified.
People will want to help you if they trust you. That’s why establishing trust with customers is important. When that trust is solid, customers can be your best advocates.
Asking for Referrals
The absolute best time to ask for referrals is following a sale. The customer is going to be feeling good about you and your service. They aren’t viewing you so much as a salesperson as they’re viewing you as a resource who solved a problem.
You don’t have to beg or plead for referrals. All you need to do is offer insight into what you’re looking for in sales and customers. Explain that you want to find contacts with similar problems to the one that you just helped your customer with.
One thing to avoid is being too direct or blunt. Rather than asking straight out, “Do you know someone else who could use this product?”, you might phrase it as, “Is there anyone else in your family who might have the same challenge we’re addressing with this service?”
People are wary about providing referrals if they think you’re simply going to jump on them for a sale. However, if they think you’ll be a great resource for someone, they become more open to the idea.
There is typically a lot of networking in an industry, even when it comes to competitors. With an existing customer, you can better begin to understand what issues are facing those who are in the same business as the customer you’re speaking with. Feel free to ask questions and gain insight that will help you add referrals and customers down the line.
Following Sales and Referrals
After a customer has provided you with a referral, make sure you contact that referral. You should also send out a thank you note to the customer who suggested them. It’s polite and leads to a strengthened relationship
If you are looking for a way to keep track of your bank or credit union’s referrals, consider using FinancialRefer. You can find out more about the service here. There is even a free demo you can try!