Building Your Business: Leveraging your time and satisfied customers to create a Client Referral Network








Why don’t MOST salespeople get referrals? What stops them? Why do they conveniently “forget” to ask?

REASON: The most common reason sales people don’t ask for referrals is FEAR.

  • Fear of Rejection
  • Fear of upsetting a customer
  • Fear they don’t know anyone
  • Fear they are too busy
  • Fear of “messing up” future business with the client
  • Fear of not knowing “How to Ask or What to say”
  • Fear the sales person hasn’t “earned” the Right

What is your reason?


How do you ask for referrals (What is your exact phrasing)?


Does it sound weak or confusing?

“If you happen to know anyone who _________________, I hope you’ll pass along my name.”

“Here are some of my cards, if you hear of anyone who __________, please give them a card.”

 “Let me know if I can help anyone you know or if you think of anyone.”

These are only suggestions, NOT requests for Referrals.

 The Categories of Referrals

  1. Anyone/Everyone…and really “no one”

This is the basic name/phone number/maybe an email. You know nothing about them, except someone gave you their contact info. This is basically a “cold call” and they probably won’t meet with you.

  1. Marginally” Qualified

You receive contact info. by the referring party who believes they fit your criteria (industry; product/service) for some unknown reason.

3.“Quasi—semi” Qualified

The referral source gives contact info. of someone they think will benefit from what we sell. They really are not aware if they need it; can afford it or can buy it. But—it’s a “good guess gesture.”

  1. Qualified Referral

Referring party gives name & phone number & all contact information of someone who needs what we’re selling; knows they need it; and can afford it. AND….they will “Introduce” you to them via phone (best) and email.


You are NOT getting “Qualified Referrals” if you are ONLY getting a name and phone number!


INSIGHT: The Power of the Referral Contact Method in descending order:

5. Just a name & phone number/contact info (no introduction) …

4. Email (introduction) from your client to the prospect…

3. Letter written by your client to the prospect…

2. Letter written by you for your client to the prospect

  1. Personal phone call (introduction) from your client to the prospect…

Referrals from your Client’s

Point of View

If a client is asked for a referral—he/she is recommending your performance as a sales person. The client is making an “endorsement” that they believe in your product or service and the referral should totally trust his/her judgment.  He is putting his credibility on the line.

Trust is the major issue when gaining qualified referrals.  If there is a lack of trust, they may hesitate to send you to a friend or associate they respect.

It’s all about living up to their expectations.  They do not want to mis-manage their contacts expectations.

We need to assure our contact that:

  • We’ll demonstrate to our customer that we perform as they expect.
  • We’ll continually strive for a high level of trust.
  • Keep our client “in the loop” and up to date about progress.

Creating a Referral Inventory

KEY IDEA:  Sales is about activity and results.

Regardless of your sales success last quarter or last month or if you have a full sales pipeline, never become complacent. Always continue to develop high quality prospects thru the referral process.  You want to create a referral inventory to always have              quality prospects to call on.

Go through your existing accounts…most likely end users:

  1. List all your end user accounts: largest to smallest in volume
  2. List all contacts at each account by name
  3. Rate your relationship with them on a 1-10 scale (10 meaning they totally trust you and you’re seen as a true partner)
  4. You will call all your 8, 9, and 10 contacts.
  5. Call them: using the following format:
  • Small talk…ice breaker
  • Thanks for the business”
  • Have we helped you?” How have we helped you? Let them expand on this
  • Ask: “Have we met or exceeded your expectations?”

6.Tell them you want to keep serving them and spending time and effort to CONTINUE to get them the results they want.

7. Ask them… “Can you help me?” (They will most likely say, “Yes.”)

  • Who do you know that ___________ (describe ideal customer/title/responsibilities) NOT…who do you think needs (me)?
  • When they tell you a name: ask “How do you know ____?” What made you think of him/her?” (They’ll give you some background information.)
  • ASK: What do you know about their business? (Ask a few subtle qualifying questions).
  • Ask: “Would you call him and introduce me to him and let him/her know I’ll be contacting him/her? (Wait for an answer….)

When do you think you’ll be calling him?”

 (Thank them…. let them know you’ll be “treating the referral with respect, honesty and best efforts. Also let your referral source know you’ll be following up with them to let them know the progress and outcome.)

NOTE: The follow up with your referral source is very important! It shows you respect their effort and reputation and that you follow up. PLUS…checking in with them may give you an opportunity to generate another referral or two!)


Want more “real world” sales tactics that work? Or…Need help with referrals, prospecting or business development: Contact Kash Development Corp at 630-560-3614

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