What one thing do a vast majority of customers have to offer that is all but ignored by most sales professionals? The answer is referrals. As hard as it is to believe, most salespeople do not ask their customers for referrals.
According to Dale Carnegie only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. So for those salespeople who complain about a lack of leads, they need to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are part of the 89% that do not ask for referrals. If so, they are leaving one of the most valuable lead sources untapped.
There are several reasons or excuses salespeople give for not asking for referrals. One of the most common is that it just feels weird asking someone for a referral. Some representatives say it’s a waste of time. A lot of salespeople fall into a different category. This third category of salespeople know that they should ask for referrals but have not taken the time to make it a habit and just don’t think about it during the sales process. This habit needs to be driven by sales management until it becomes ingrained in their salesforce and sales process.
Prospecting is not limited to the internet searchs, lead providers or drive by’s. To succeed in most sales roles, you need to be a hunter. Asking for referrals is like adding a high powered scope to your prospecting process.
Why you need to start asking for referrals:
Let me share another piece of data from Dale Carnegie that just might get you intrigued enough to take action and start asking for referrals. Their data shows that 91% of customers say they would give referrals if asked.
Need more convincing? According to Author and sales expert Tom Hopkins, referrals are 6 times more likely to buy from you, than from other lead sources you use. It’s easy to see what this kind of change can mean to your business.
The power of referrals does not stop there. Referrals give you, your company and product or service social proof from satisfied customers. To add to the social proof, the reference comes from someone the referred knows. Social proof is one of the most powerful tools a salesperson has at their disposal.
Since referrals are something the majority of satisfied customers are willing to give and those referrals are six times more likely to purchase, why would you not start asking for referrals in 2015?
David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reasons people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou or visit www.whybuyfromyou.com.