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RAB Research Archive

Referral mistakes to avoid



Referrals are powerful selling tools when used correctly and as a part of an overall plan to increase your sales results. However, there’s a proper way to ask for referrals and another way that can leave your current clients annoyed and thus hurt your sales in the long run.

Far too often, salespeople will commit to making classic mistakes when asking for referrals and assume (based on their disappointing results) that referrals aren’t a worthwhile method to create more sales.

However, referrals do work. They have the potential to connect you to new opportunities via your current network. This allows you to work with new potential clients with a level of trust and familiarity which otherwise would not exist without the referral.

Let’s look at the top two mistakes salespeople make when asking for referrals:

  1. Asking Too Soon The worst time to ask for a referral is when you’re at the point-of-sale stage in the sales cycle. If you’re a salesperson asking for a referral before the ink on the contract has dried, you will be met with less than pleasing results. Don’t get so wrapped up with wanting a referral that you ask for one at an inopportune time. Instead, ensure that your client has had ample time to use your product and is happy with the service you have provided. You must earn your referrals for maximum results.
  2. Not Showing Thanks Never act as though you are simply entitled to a referral because you have received positive reviews from your client. Even worse, forgetting to say “thank you” to your client for providing a referral is a big mistake. If you miss the opportunity to show gratitude to your client, you risk shutting down the chances for future referrals. Avoid this common mistake at all costs and thank your clients (either verbally or with a small gift) for their referral!

Source: Sales trainer/coach Colleen Francis





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