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The best ways to get high-quality sales referrals

Everyone wants sales referrals, but nobody wants to ask for them. After all, if you want to grow it’s all about who you know.

Introhive sponsored JB Sales’ latest webinar that broke down the best ways to get high-quality sales referrals, and some tips on breaking through the hesitancy to ask.

The first great piece of advice that came out of the webinar was all about how to get what you want: If you don’t A-S-K, you don’t G-E-T. If you don’t take a chance and ask for a referral, you’ll never know what you can receive. 

Why are referrals so awesome?

And you do want those referrals. The numbers speak for themselves, just check out Hubspot’s sales statistics:

  • When referred by other customers, people have a 37% higher retention rate
  • B2B companies with referrals experience a 70% higher conversion rate
  • Referred customers’ lifetime value (LTV) is 16% higher than that of non-referred customers
  • Referral leads have a 30% higher conversion rate than leads from any other channel.
  • About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers

The numbers don’t lie.

Make it easy for them to say yes

Yeah, you want referrals. But everybody’s waiting for someone to hand them referrals. That’s not going to happen. You need to ask. Remember? If you don’t A-S-K, you don’t G-E-T.

Of course, there are many ways to ask; make sure you make a good case for the ask, and do it in the right ways, and more often than not you’ll find yourself in an advantageous situation.

The trick is to make it as easy as possible for the other person to say yes. One quick way to turn them off is to always talk about what you do. Guess what? They. Don’t. Care. Instead, talk about what they need: what are the pain points they experience? Eventually, the conversation will roll around to how you can help alleviate those pain points, but it’s not something you should ever open with.

Checklist for the best ways to get high-quality sales referrals

  1. Know your ideal customer
  2. Have a hit list
  3. Create incentives for referrals
  4. Track efficacy of referrals

We aren’t the first to say this, but be prepared. Unless you like hearing no, don’t just go around asking everyone you meet for a referral. Be smart about it and you can get used to hearing yes instead.

Know your ideal customer

You’ve probably already gone through the exercise of determining your ideal customer profile (ICP), but it’s worth revisiting that ICP from time to time. Things change. 

Create a simple one-pager that describes your ICP, then ask yourself: who do I know who can put me in touch with these people?

Have a hit list 

Make a list of those people who can give you a warm introduction, then work through that list. If this sounds basic, it is. Obvious, even. But being organized and strategic is a great way to remain focused and keep yourself on track. Hearing no can be demoralizing, but you can easily overcome the negativity through determination and organization.

Follow your hit list.

Create incentives for referrals

It’s hard to get something for nothing, but there’s nothing wrong with sweetening the pot a little. Offer something in return for the referral. It could be free product, or discounts, or plain old cash. Whatever you have that they want that seems a fair trade for the benefits that a good referral can bring. It’s worth it.

You might even build language into your contracts that include referrals, reviews, or case studies as part of the deal. 

Track efficacy of referrals

Keep track of your referrals. Who gave them. Who the referral is for. Contact history. And did it result in a sale? Finding patterns in this data can help you moving forward in finding the best ways to get high-quality sales referrals, because it might just make you change your ICP and revise your hit list. 

Best channels to use when asking for referrals

There is a definite hierarchy of ways to ask for referrals. It start with the more intimate being the best, to the most impersonal being the worst.

  1. Live via zoom or in-person: if you can get a face-to-face, either in person or these days through a video meeting, it’s the very best time to ask for a referral.
  2. Phone call: sometimes you can’t get that one-on-one time, but you might catch the person for a phone call. It’s not as personal as seeing them, but it’s still good.
  3. Email: let’s face it, it’s really easy to ignore an email. It’s not nearly as personal as being able to talk to someone, but if it’s all you have…
  4. Texting: No. Just, no. 

Best tool for uncovering warm leads

While there’s still a place for cold calls, they’ll never be a match for a nice warm introduction. Those intros don’t always have to come from the outside. Buried within the data in your Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) are leads you didn’t know you had. When you add a platform like Introhive onto your CRM, you can expect to discover perhaps thousands of warm leads—it’s like a referral machine. Data in. Intelligence out.

To learn more, or see it for yourself, book a short demo with one of our friendly sales team.

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