March 12, 2017


“Average salespeople just don’t ask for referrals.” Kyla O’Connell, Senior Sales Trainer for Asher Strategies, shares this truth and a few other tidbits on referrals in this video below. Watch it (it’s less than 2 minutes long) and then continue reading below for more tips on asking for referrals, a skill all top sales training programs emphasize.

Before we get into how to ask for referrals, let’s touch on a couple of points Kyla brings up in the video.

Don’t Give Up Too Soon

The first point Kyla brings up is that average salespeople give up after two or three contact attempts.Top sales training programs teach that it takes about 12 contacts to get a sale. Top sales pros do not give up when they get a referral who doesn’t respond right away. Instead, they utilize their CRM software or calendars to automate the process with reminders to call, email, send a flyer, engage on social media, or use other outreach tools.

Get the Referral Source Involved in the Process

The next point she makes is that it helps to get the referral source involved in the sales process. She mentions having the referrer accompany you and the prospect to a meal, which is a great idea. But it could be as simple as having them jump on a three-way call with you and the prospect, or emailing the prospect to let them know they have been referred and to expect a call.

Alright, so now you have a few tips on what to do after you get the referrals. But how do you ask for them in the first place? Here are a few key opportunities we have gleaned from ours and other top sales training programs:

  1. After closing the sale: When the buyer finally signs the contract or hands over the check, it relieves their tension. They finally made a decision, and are usually happy. Now is a great time to say “I know you are going to be very happy with our service. Who do you know that could also benefit from this?”

  2. At delivery or completion of service: The day the product is delivered or service is rendered, salespeople should reach out and check for satisfaction. Assuming everything is okay, have them say something like “Glad we met your expectations! May I ask you for a favor? Could you give me the name and number of someone in a similar position where I could introduce this product?”

  3. During follow-up calls/Anniversary calls: Depending on your organization, your salespeople might follow up every few months, or at one-year anniversaries of the sale. Besides trying to get a new order or cross-sell, another item on the agenda is to ask for a referral. “It’s been one year since we last did business. Before I get into our new upgraded model, I wanted to ask you if there was anyone in your circle who could use this product – with a discount I would provide in your name?”

Top sales training programs know that referrals are the most cost effective lead source, and are also the most likely to close.Want an instant boost in your revenue? Mail every sales person on your team this post and have them ask 5 past or current clients for referrals. Ask them to report back the results, to hold them accountable. I bet each salesperson will get at least three solid gold leads from doing this.