How to get Your First Few Customers with Referrals as Lead Generation

Asking for Referrals

Referrals are the absolute best form of lead generation that there is.

That’s no secret.

The stronger your referral network is, the more likely the money you are to make. 

As we get more referrals from people that we have deep relationships with, those referrals convert better and faster.

Meaning, you close a higher percentage of referrals that come to you. 

They convert faster, meaning you sell them faster than you would sell somebody else because there’s a transference of trust that’s happening there.

And you typically sell them more people who are referred by more than the new people just meeting you for the first time because they don’t have such a deep level of trust.

Referrals are huge.

If you are starting a business and today is your first day, there is no doubt about the first thing you should do which is that you should ask for referrals, right?

Asking for referrals is the genesis of any business.

Now, when people think of referrals, they often think of getting referrals from customers, which is true.

You should get referrals from customers.  

But if you’re just starting your business, you may not have any customers.

Who do I get referrals from if I don’t have any customers? 

This is a great and important question.

The number one, false belief of all salespeople, entrepreneurs, and new business owners is you must have customers to get referrals.

That is not true.

That limiting belief is holding you back.

Skipping this step is killing your business. It’s taking money out of your pocket.

It’s the reason why you’re not growing. You have overlooked the entire step of generating referrals.

You think that since you don’t have customers to get referrals from, you need to go get customers which means cold calling, lead generation, advertising, marketing, etc.

All those things you should be doing at some point.

Those are scalable things. They’re good things.

You must have cold mechanisms and systems in place to bring you new customers but that’s not the fastest path to cash.

How to Make Cash Fast

rory vaden quote

That’s not the shortest distance between where you are and the money in your pocket.

The shortest distance is through referrals.

 And you ask who do I get referrals from if I don’t have any customers?

Now you’re asking the right question.

Who do I get referrals from if I don’t have any customers?

And the answer is people who trust you.

The reason that we get referrals from customers is that there are people who trust us.

How do we know they trust us?

They paid. They bought. They already did it.

However, customers aren’t the only people in your life who trust you.

You have other friends, family, colleagues, and past customers from other businesses that you have been involved with. Be careful with that one depending on your non-solicitation agreements.

Other people in your life trust you and you need to get referrals from them.

Another thing that we do wrong is where all we do is we go and try to sell to the people that we know.

We take a new job on or start a new side hustle and we immediately think about how can I go out and sell to all the people I know.

I wouldn’t recommend that. I know some people do.

It’s certainly not wrong to sell to people that you know, but in our experience of coaching thousands of salespeople, what we have found is that, traditionally, when you go out and try to sell to the people you know, you’re going to create awkwardness in the relationship that hurts the long-term relationship.

It’s awkward.

As an example, there is a golfing buddy that I’ve been going golfing with every week for five years, and all of sudden I’m going to try to sell him this new supplement for this direct sales company or I’m going to try to sell him financial services.

It’s not that it’s wrong to do that.

It’s just that you’ll probably make only a few sales and it’ll probably create awkwardness for a lot of people. 

And here’s the thing. It shouldn’t have to be one or the other. There’s a way to do both.

And the way to get both is to ask for referrals.

Lead Generation

You don’t try to sell to the people. Instead, you go to the people and ask them for referrals.

Here’s what’s amazing about that.

The people who would have bought from you if you just tried to sell to them only, they will buy from you. But when you ask for referrals, they will be interested and become a buyer.

You will still capture those buyers, but you won’t upset everyone else.

Plus, you’ll get referrals from everybody because they trust you.

There’s not any pressure if you do it right.

You’re much less likely to offend someone or create awkwardness by asking for referrals than asking them to buy. 

And when you’re first starting, you need leads much more than you need customers.

Leads come from relationships and people that you know and trust as well as people that know you.

They’re not mutually exclusive, but in my experience, you’re going to get more success and more momentum quickly by asking the people who are not customers.

You’re just asking the people to give you an introduction to other people.

That’s where your focus should be when you start in a new job, new business, new product line, or a new launch. Start with the people who know you despite not having any customers.

Don’t try to sell to them; ask them for referrals.

Leave a comment below about your experience in asking for referrals. I love to know.

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