In my opinion there is no single better way to improve your revenue stream than through referrals. The best advocate you will ever find is a delighted customer who is more than willing to share the good news about your service with their friends and colleagues. Your closing ratio will be higher as well since a referral from your existing customer adds immediate credibility to you and your business in the eyes of the prospect. Think about it: are you more likely to choose a physician or lawyer from an advertisement or would you rather find someone recommended by a friend? This same principle will work for you.
There are two kinds of referrals I want you to think about: internal and external. An internal referral occurs when you successfully sell one department on using your services and then ask for a referral to other decision makers in other departments within that company. Before long you have multiple contacts within the organization and you are effectively saturating that account.
Now let’s consider external referrals; those companies doing business with your existing clients who may be great prospects for you as well. Mine for referrals every month and develop an external networking list for every one of your customers. This list is an effective tool to move throughout other departments in the organization as well as to other business relationships. You not only want to saturate ABC Corporation, but you want to reach their subsidiaries, clients, vendors, trade associations, etc. Each one of your existing accounts is doing business with dozens of other companies that may be well suited to your business as well.
When was the last time you asked for a referral from one of your top clients? Most sales people neglect to ask for referrals; and it shows. The irony is that studies prove that the number one reason someone does not give a referral is because they were not asked. Believe it or not, your customers do not get up every day thinking about your business and wondering how they can help. They have their own problems to deal with. They will, however, give you referrals within their sphere of influence if they are truly satisfied with your service and IF you ask.
So start asking for referrals! Developing a good referral network and working it consistently is one of the fastest ways to turn your business around from a revenue perspective. You will also find out who is truly delighted with you and who is not, which is critical information as well.
Source: Craig’s Blog