There are companies that hardly use any advertisements and mainly do business on referrals. These companies have realized the value of referrals. For them referred clients are worth their weight in gold for their potential to bring business. Sales professionals may get tired of making cold calls and meeting with prospects. The chances of conversions of cold calls in to sales are very thin in comparison to referrals getting translated in to sales.
Why Referrals Work
There are solid reasons why referrals work. A referred client trusts the selling company easily, because he trusts the referrer. Simply because the referred client’s friend or relative has used the product and kind of vouchsafes its quality there is very little convincing required. It’s only a matter of few additional questions and the sales person can close the deal.
Let’s consider some examples here. A consumer is more likely to subscribe to a broadband connection service when a friend that is already using the same services approves of the quality. The same consumer might have turned down earlier offers from the broadband service provider’s sales men.
You are more likely to join a social networking group when your friends invite you to join in rather than by the persuasion of advertisements. Mrs. Cynthia Jones is more likely to use the lawn mowing services of a company if that has been referred to her by her friend Mrs. Deborah Hill. She would just call up Deborah to ascertain that actually the company in question does a good job of lawn mowing.
Referrals not only work, they work faster. The referred client has hardly any doubts because he trusts his friend or relative that has already used the product. He wouldn’t want to look like a doubting Thomas when his friends have already purchased the product.
Every sales person and business men therefore should look for referrals.
Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Referrals are obtained by simply asking, in a proper way of course. The timing of asking for referrals is crucial. Some sales professionals commit the mistake of asking for referrals immediately after they have sold to a client. That is absolutely wrong. The client has just made a purchase and given something. He will be disinclined to refer anybody without using the product for sometime. The best time to ask for a referral is to wait for a few days till the client has used the product and is happy with it. Also after a customer service complaint has been attended to satisfactorily, referrals can be obtained from the customer.
Research points out that 30 days after the purchase, a customer is typically ready to give his opinion of the product. Her happiness peaks at this point of time. So the best way get referrals is to call up the customer and find out whether she is happy with the product? Really happy customers would gladly reel off names and contact addresses of friends and associates. Sales persons can work on these referrals to get more and quicker sales.
About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.
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Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.
Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching
Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)