The final phase of the buying process is the referral phase. It is the “holy grail” of selling!
If you think about it, it is the ultimate compliment your business can earn. This is what we all work for, the ability for someone else to join your team and help build your business, reputation and reach into the market.
Referrals don’t come easy and are often earned with blood, sweat and some tears. And while you may think you have earned a referral, you really never know unless you have the conversation.
In my selling experience I cannot tell you how many times I have asked clients “I have done a great job for you, wouldn’t you agree?” The answer would be “Yes! Absolutely!” Then I would ask, “How come you have never given me a referral to others who would benefit from what I can do for them?” The answer was always the same “You never asked me to.”
I hate that. They were right. I never asked them to be my champion and tell my story for me, and they were ready to jump in and do so if I would have asked them. Its about like the number one reason deals never close- because the sales person never asked for the business. The same with referrals. They often don’t happen because we never asked our customer to take the next step for me- not with me.
If you have done all the steps of the process and you have stoked the fires of emotion with your customers, they are more willing than you may think to take the next step alone and drop your name to others they rub shoulders with. We just need to give them permission to do so. The most interesting and fun part of the referral process is that if you do this and all things right to this point, referrals will become your lead generating machine.
I often discuss that sales has a cycle to it. Most feel it ends with customer buying products or services from you. In reality, your one step short of completing the cycle. Referrals close the loop for you so that your business self generates by the leads coming to you from those already doing business with you. It is by far the best quality prospects and leads generated in business today, and it is in your power to put that cycle into motion.
Don’t stop with the sale, keep the cycle going and feed your sales funnel with fans that are 60% in your corner based on the reputation set forth by your current customers.
Guest Post by: Mike Karlsrud is an optical professional who “makes brands come alive” for optical practices nationwide. He is owner of