The Ultimate Guide to Timing Your Ask for Sales Referrals


“You don’t get anything in life unless you ask,” you’ve heard an elder family member say.

That sort of works in sales. You’ll get something rather than nothing simply because you ask.

But, when you ask at the right times, you have a much greater chance of getting even more referrals.

When are those times?

And you don’t always have to wait for them – you can create them too.

Let me explain:

1. Write Them Into Your Contract

You don’t hear this one too often.

As soon as you begin coming to terms with a new prospect, ask for the referral.

Tell them you will do a great job for them. And when you do, you want them to give you X number of referrals.

Now that’s confidence.

2. When You Get Compliments

This is an easy one – make sure you thank your customer for their praise first. From there, it’s simple. Just ask, “Do you know anyone else who would benefit from our services?”

3. Give Referrals Yourself

Don’t use this just to get referrals. Be generous in connecting customers you know with other reliable people and resources. If they come back to you with a thanks for the connection down the road, ask for the referral then.

However, you’ll earn plenty of referrals just by handing them out yourself.

4. Simply Stay in Touch

In most cases, you never know when the timing is right for a referral. Simply publish a new post on LinkedIn or send out a newsletter. You might get a new referral or lead right then.

5. Make Yourself Worthy of Referrals

The ask won’t be nearly as difficult, and you’ll get many more positive responses if you do lights-out work and offer awesome service. You naturally attract more referrals to you without having to ask.

6. If You Ask Your Customer Before Providing Service, And They Refuse to Offer Referrals At First, Do This

If they say something like, “I wouldn’t,” or, “I’m not sure,” tell them it’s your goal to deliver an amazingly satisfying experience. Say that if they’re not willing to tell others about your service, then why would you go above and beyond to provide it?

Most won’t stick to their guns, but a few will.

And if they do – you’ve identified a customer that’s not going to be a good one anyway.

If they don’t end the relationship right there, you should.

7. Ask Value-Seeking Questions

Customers happily refer you to their networks when they know you’ve provided value. But they don’t always tell you when you do that.

When you have a client meeting, ask your client, “Sue, of all things we’ve talked about today, what do you find most valuable?” Or you could say, “We’ve been working together for several months now. What’s been the most valuable part of the process for you?”

Then, you can start asking for more referrals.

Follow those steps, and you will find yourself earning more referral business that closes at awesomely high rates!