How To Get 5 New Contacts From Your Biggest Account Today
Did you know that you could be leaving a potential gold mine on the table in the form of referrals from your biggest account?
A referral is the number one reason why someone who doesn’t know you or have a reason to trust you decides to do business with you. These questions are answered based on the recommendation of a friend or family member who knows and trusts you, which makes it implicit that your referral feels he or she knows you and trusts you.
People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising.
– Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Sometimes it’s hard to ask for referrals. We don’t want to appear like we’re begging for work, or we don’t want to pester our clients constantly for the names of family and friends.
“91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals.”
– Dale Carniege
There are some things you can do today though that aren’t hard and will garner your client’s help in identifying new contacts for your business and skyrocket your sales opportunities…
1. Ask your client for his advice
Tell your client how much you enjoy working with them, and that you’d love to work with more people just like them. Say something like “This project is exactly what I’m looking for in future work. If you were me, how would you go about finding someone just like you to work with?”
Don’t just ask your client if there’s anyone he or she can refer you to. Be specific about what makes a good prospect for you. The more your client understands about what you’re looking for in a prospect, the easier it will be for her to identify a name in her mind.
2. Give your client a list of names
Don’t expect your client to be able to come up with names on the spot for referrals. Instead, do your homework on LinkedIn and figure out whom he’s connected to that you would like an introduction. Or if your client is involved in a particular organisation or association that you’ve always wanted to break in to, ask him for an introduction to someone in the group.
3. Schedule an intimate luncheon
Identify someone in your network who would benefit by being referred to your client, and call your client to schedule a lunch to introduce the two. Ask if there’s anyone he or she would like to bring to the lunch to introduce to you. This uses reciprocation as a tool to prompt referrals. When you do something nice for your client, he or she will most likely want to reciprocate by introducing someone in her network to you.
4. Give your customer a cheat sheet
Print out a nice sentence or two about your USP, why someone would want to do business with you, and what you’re looking for in a prospect, have it laminated, and give it to your customer. When you educate your customer how best to refer you, you take the onus of figuring out what to say off his or her shoulders by giving a cheat sheet of exactly what to say (or type if he’s emailing). By giving him the words to use, you’ve made a referral one of the easiest ways for him to spread the news about what you do best.
5. Provide a valuable marketing tool
This could be a case study or a white paper that details your company’s success in a certain area, anything that demonstrates your expertise. Send it to your client, and ask him to forward it to at least three people that he thinks would be interested in the results. Make sure that it’s something of value that people will want to read, and ask your client to let you know to whom he sent the marketing piece and why he thought it would be good for them.
These 5 low-pressure strategies are steps you can take today to encourage your biggest account to refer you to others. Practised daily, they can become a system you use with other customers to generate even more referrals. Systematising your referral activities is the easiest way to take the pain out of asking.
Natural Training has many more tips and strategies on how to connect with your customers and widen your network of contacts. Call us today to discuss how we can help you and your company expand your efforts well beyond what you thought possible.
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