Asking for Referrals
There is a tip that is so incredibly simple that you can do immediately, that I promise will generate more referrals.
Before I share it with you. I need you to understand what most salespeople, professionals, and business development people do that creates pressure when they’re asking for referrals.
It is using the word ‘referral’.
The word, ‘referral’, creates pressure and awkwardness in the conversation.
When you asked me for a referral, what that means is you are asking me to take someone that I know and put them in front of you to give you a chance to sell them.
That creates pressure and is a little bit awkward.
It’s also restricting and limiting.
There may be a few people who I know that might be interested in what you do, and I may trust you enough to create the context of that situation for you. And if I do, that’s a great thing because it happens really fast.
It’s not that that is wrong or bad, so much as it is limiting.
The number one problem that most salespeople have is they don’t have enough leads.
They’re not in front of enough new people.
Part of it is because of how you’re asking for referrals.
There are all these different things in terms of your mindset and the technical components of what you’re saying that are effective.
They’re minimizing your ability to generate referrals.
It’s how you think about it.
It’s also how you do it.
What you’re asking for, and this is a great example when asking for a referral, puts a little bit of pressure on me because it almost makes it feel like I’m doing your job.
You’re asking me who can I connect you to? Who wants to buy something and who’s ready to buy?
That’s a little bit awkward.
Even if it’s not awkward, I probably don’t have that many people off the top of my head who I know are ready to buy something from you.
The other part of this, even though this is a technical thing, is also the mentality and the mindset for you is that if you’re asking me and you’re depending on me and other people in your life, whether they’re friends, colleagues, or their customers, to do the work of sifting and sorting for you on who is ready to buy something, number one, that’s lazy.
And number two, it’s unfair because that’s your job.
Your job is to figure out what people are interested in.
Here’s the mindset shift along with the corresponding technical change which is super simple.
Don’t ask for referrals, ask for introductions.
At first, you might question what’s the difference?
Well, there’s a huge difference.
A referral is you’re asking me to create a sales context for you. You’re asking me to set up a scenario where you can sell to somebody.
When you ask for an introduction, you’re just asking to meet somebody that I know, which is no problem.
I would introduce anybody I know to other people I know if it’s just to introduce them.
And that is part of the power.
Some salespeople are lazy in the fact that they only want to deal with and talk to people who are immediately ready to buy.
When you do that, that’s going to be a small number of people because everyone you ask is only going to have a small number of people to introduce you to.
Changing Your Mindset
You need to change your thinking.
You need to shift from only wanting to be introduced to people who are ready to buy to I just want to be introduced to awesome people.
Because if you get introduced to a lot of awesome people, that’s easy to do.
It’s easy for me to introduce you to a lot of awesome people.
It’s hard for me to refer you to very many people who I know are ready to buy something.
But if I introduce you to a lot of awesome people, guess what?
You’re going to have a lot of new relationships which will either buy from you or they’ll give you introductions to other people.
What you really need is not customers.
What you really need is more relationships.
What you really need is to meet a lot of new people.
It is shortsighted to only want to be introduced to people who will buy from you.
The true service-centered mindset is to want to be introduced to a lot of people.
I need to always be meeting new people.
If I’m always meeting new people, then all of those new people are either going to buy or they’re going to introduce me to other new people.
And those people are either going to buy or introduce me to other new people.
It’s a huge shift in mindset to go from asking for referrals, which is asking me to create a sales conversation for you, to create a context for a sale to happen for you versus to ask to be introduced to people who are just people that you can meet.
And then you can do the job of building a relationship with them, connecting, and figuring out what they need, and being there when they’re ready to buy or asking them for other people that they might know.
That one simple shift of changing this one word and how you ask will make a massive difference in the number of introductions that you end up receiving.
And most of all, in your mindset and the abundance that you receive as a result of shifting from asking for referrals and these pre-setup sales conversations versus asking for introductions with just as a chance to meet new awesome people.
Make that one shift both in your mind and in your verbiage and I promise you will start meeting lots more people which will translate into making a lot more money.