According to American Writer, Dale Carnegie, “91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for them.” If this sentiment is indeed true, there is a lot of potential for your company to grow. The key to a healthy referral program is management buy-in and support.
Sure, asking for the referral is a “no brainer,” but how often does it actually happen? Does your company measure success rates? Do you reward customer for successful referrals? Do you measure your sales team’s success by the number of closed referrals?
Why Are Referrals So Important?
When a current customer makes a referral for your business, they are essentially placing their reputation on the line. They are also more likely to “stick” with your company as they are now invested in your success. In short, customer making referrals for you are much more loyal.
A lack of referrals can also demonstrate that there is a disconnect with your business and your customers. When your customers are unwilling or afraid to refer their contact to you, it is time to get to know your customers better. Don’t be afraid to ask them how you can improve your product, program, or support. Customer feedback can tell you where your company falls short and how to improve your service.
When you genuinely ask for referrals from each of your customers, sales will naturally increase. Consider, however, making it easy for your customers to refer. Provide them with a card to distribute, talk through some sample dialogue with them, or ask them for contact information and you can do the work for them.
Referrals can be instrumental for increasing sales and improving retention. However, don’t make it complicated. Simply asking for the referral is, in most cases, all you have to do to get the ball rolling.