Reality Check: We’ve got to eat! We’ve got to live our lives, and we all have bills to pay. When I am at conferences and associations talking about how to get more word of mouth referrals, I always talk about why asking for referrals never works. In my view, you get one of two answers. The first is “Sure…here’s a name”, and they move on. At best that is a lead. See referrals are people who are ready, willing, and able to buy. They come highly referred and the majority of the sales pitch is done by the person referring, primarily through excitement.
The second answer comes as “Yeah, let me think of one for you, and I’ll get back to you”. This response is generally given to get out of the awkward situation of being put on the spot.
Because we all need to make a living and make sales while our word of mouth referral generation strategies are building up over time, we need to find other ways to ask for business. I’m not a fan of directly asking for the sale and I know that is directly against what some sales experts say, but it’s just not my way of being. Because I consider myself a connector, I love asking for a connection.
If you feel that you are a great networker, just ask for an introduction to someone that would be beneficial to your business.
I always recommend to folks that you are asking for that ideal referral partner. The one who has the potential to refer to you and your business time and time again.
When I owned my website agency for 16 years, I always was looking for additional referral partners to build long lasting mutually beneficial relationships with. Like anything in life the 80/20 rule kicked in and was always clear. 80% of my referral partner business came from 20% of my referral partners. If you want to grow your referral business as a whole, focus on growing that sector of folks that can refer you often…and that starts with knowing who they are and asking for an introduction!
Go get em Tiger!