Most salespeople understand the value of referrals when it comes to growing their business. Referrals are the simplest, most consistent way to fill your sales pipeline. In fact, one of my clients recently doubled his business in just one year by making referrals a priority.
Unfortunately, many salespeople still fail to ask for referrals because they’re simply uncomfortable doing so. If that sounds like you, then what do you have to lose by asking for a referral? Not much. On the other hand, what do you have to lose by not asking? Opportunities, customers and sales.
It’s time to get over your fear of asking for referrals. Follow these three simple steps to grow your business through referrals, and you’ll soon find yourself crushing your sales goals:
1. Start asking for introductions.
The first step to growing your business through referrals is to stop asking for referrals. I know that sounds contradictory, but it’s the truth. It’s time to realize that asking for referrals isn’t nearly as effective as asking for introductions. When you ask clients or prospects for referrals, they’re often confused about what you need. Do you want a reference? A name and number? Something else?
Clear up the confusion by asking for introductions instead. Try asking, “John, would you be willing to introduce me to three other people in your network?” This approach gets rid of the ambiguity of referrals and instead tells your contact exactly how they can help you connect with the prospects you want to meet.
2. Set aside 15 minutes each day.
In order to keep your sales pipeline full, commit to asking for one introduction per day. This may sound intimidating, but you can get an introduction in 15 minutes or less. This will quickly become the most important 15 minutes of your day. You can ask prospects, customers, friends or family — anyone who can introduce you to someone in need of your product or service.
By making this a habit every day, you’ll gain five new introductions every week, ultimately leading to 250 introductions every year. Can you imagine how 250 introductions would transform your business? All it takes is 15 minutes a day, and you’ll enjoy a dramatic increase in sales as a result.
3. Host an exclusive event.
Hosting an event may sound like a lot of work, but it’s also the single most effective strategy for attracting new clients. Try hosting one or two invitation-only events every year. Choose a nice venue that underlines the exclusivity of the event. Then invite high-level clients and prospects from your target market.
Ask everyone you know for introductions to people who may be interested in attending, and invite top clients to bring along others from their networks. At the event, use your bird’s-eye-view of the industry to share best practices you’ve observed and offer tremendous value to attendees. These events are an opportunity to meet new prospects, increase your value, and let your clients do the selling for you as they tell your prospects about the great experiences they’ve had with you.
Now you know three simple steps to transform your business through introductions. How will you begin following these steps in your own business? Take this free 1-Minute Sales Strengths-Finder Quiz to learn more about how to maximize your sales strategy.