When To Ask For Referrals
Choosing the right time to ask for business referrals makes the difference between winning and losing. Your referral marketing strategy is so dependent on selecting best time to ask someone to positively recommend your products or services to others.
Tips for getting it right?
When someone knows you well enough to be able to positively recommend your services
You need to build up a positive relationship with someone first before you can ask them to recommend you. After all who will refer your services if they don’t know you?
When someone has just experienced good service from you
What better time to ask someone to refer your products or services than when a customer has just praised you for what you have done for them. If your services have helped them then they will want to help you in return
When you have done a favor for someone else
If you have helped someone else then that person is bound to ask you ‘and how can I help you?’ Don’t waste this opportunity – seize it and be prepared to say specifically what business referrals you are looking for.
When someone has had good news
If someone is going to help you they need to be in the right frame of mind to help you, so wait until they have had good news such as new contract before asking them.
When someone is in the right frame of mind to listen to you
Ringing someone up when someone is in the middle of an urgent piece of work or if they are just leaving the office to go on holiday is unlikely to get you the response you want. Establish a time when you can talk to someone about the referrals you are looking for and they are in the right frame of mind to listen. Networking events are ideal times to do this as long as you have already built up a positive relationship with that person.
When you have a special offer to promote
Make it easy for people to refer your services by saying you have a special offer on. This gives an additional reason for people to promote you to others.
When you are in a position to follow up on any referrals
I have seen people ask for referrals and then just not follow up which is one way of guaranteeing you won’t get a referral from this person again. Ensure that you always follow up your referrals and feedback your progress with the referrer.
When not to ask for referrals
Referral marketing isn’t right when the converse of the above is true i.e:
- When you have just met someone (unless you are at a structured networking event where this is part and parcel of the meeting)
- When someone is busy or is about to go home for the day
- When someone has just had bad news
When your own service to that person has been inadequate