Referrals have to be one of the greatest and most productive sales revenue generators that you have at your disposal. Interestingly though, it’s highly underutilized. Why? We don’t ask.
What is the secret to referrals? Who gets referrals? Anyone who asks. Critical to referrals is getting your sales team to ask for them. If they do, they will be successful. How do we know this? How do you feel when you’re asked for a referral? You feel special, valued. Here is an organization that wants other customers like me. They’re actually asking me who they should be doing business with, which is a great aspect of business.
I have to tell you a really great story. I was meeting with a sales representative from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. They wanted Fusion Learning to be one of their clients. They came in and did a terrific pitch, explaining why we should join the organization. As we were filling out the paperwork, the sales representative turned to me and said, “Kevin, we just have one more thing to do. I’ve got my referral sheet here. What I need is for you to give me 20 names of other small businesses that should be a member of the Canadian Federation of independent Business.” Of course, I looked at her a little shocked, “Twenty names?” She said, “I’m just kidding. Two or three names would be perfect. Can you just write down for me the name of your lawyer, the name of your accountant and the name of the business upstairs and the name of the business downstairs?”
It was like clockwork. She had the form, she had the process and she had the humour. I couldn’t help but give her those referrals. She was very appreciative of that and said, “This is how we grow our business. It’s important that we have more members.” Fast forward, three months later, I’m walking into our office one day going up the stairs. James, who runs the company upstairs from us, turns to me and says, “Kevin, by the way, thanks for that referral.” I’m looking at James like, “What’s he referring to?” He says, “The Canadian Federation of Independent Business. They were in the other day. We’ve signed up and joined. I really appreciate you referring them to us.”
Isn’t that a fantastic story? She asked for the referrals, went after them and in the end got the referral. Not only that, I felt good about it and so did my neighbour. Now they have two new clients.
Referrals work. Make sure your sales force is asking for them.
Watch Kevin Higgins, President, Fusion Learning share our thoughts on referrals as a revenue generator.