Referrals Rule!

Last month, we discussed whether or not you should ask for Referrals, winning Repeat Business and seven tips for how to ‘Nail the Sale’. Now, let’s focus on Internal and External Referrals.  

1. Internal Referrals

Depending on the size of the organization, there might be other departments, divisions, locations or even subsidiaries that would benefit from your products or services. You won’t know until you ask.

If Bob, your current customer, gives you the name of colleague Sarah in a ‘cool’ lead, you can certainly contact Sarah and follow up. ‘Bob gave me your name … ‘should be good enough for a few minutes of her attention. The higher Bob’s position is in the organization, the more time and professional courtesy you might get from Sarah.

‘Cool’ leads or pass-offs can be very useful, but ‘warm’ leads or three-way connections are usually better. In this case, Bob offers, or you ask him, to contact Sarah on your behalf, describe your relationship, his satisfaction with your work and connect you with her. This connection can be done in person, by phone or even with an email.

In both cases, you now have two people you need to turn into raving fans, not just one. Bob has some skin in the game, so if things don’t go well with Sarah, that could backfire and impact your future relationship with him.

2. External Referrals

Referrals to professional colleagues in other organizations are potentially even more valuable. If Bob works in a small company, the internal potential may be limited or non-existent. But, if Bob is well-connected in the local industry or community, he could refer you to lots of colleagues and become a strong extension of your marketing effort. Nice work if you can get it.

The same ‘cool’ vs ‘warm’ lead concept applies. You can always start by asking for a ‘warm’ lead and settle for a ‘cool’ one if you need to.

So, harness the power of internal and external referrals by asking for them every time because Referrals Rule!