.In marketing your business and seeking out new customers, one strategy that you should actively pursue is referral selling. Get as many people you know — your family, friends, social network, and yes, your existing customers — to refer your business to others.
According to the book No More Cold Calling(TM): The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust, referral selling is the process where “you are introduced to people you want to meet and who want to meet you.” If you are referred to a potential customer, you are viewed as credible the moment the customer talks to you on the phone or walks into your door.
To ask for a referral, the author suggests that you write your script, and practice it:
- Tell your friend or colleague about your business
- Set the stage by reciting past successes or tell and interesting story that will convince them about your business
- Describe your Ideal Customer so they know who may be the right person for you
- Ask for one or two contacts, and remember to ask for an introduction
The last part is often the hardest. Sometimes, you’d feel awkward asking for referrals. Here are suggestions on how you may be able to ask with confidence and stick with the one that you are most comfortable with:
- “It would mean the world to me if you could introduce me to one or two people you know.”
- “It would be terrific if you could put me in touch with one or two people you know.”
- “I’d really appreciate it if you could introduce me to one or two movers and shakers.”
- “It’s your relationship, and I know you’ll want to make the call to introduce me.”
- “It really works best if the person making the referral makes the introduction.”
- “An introduction from you would be terrific. If I just get a name, it’s like a cold call (and you know I don’t make cold calls).”