Are You Fearless When Asking for a Referral?
For most people, the answer to that question is a resounding “No.” Although a referral should be the natural outcome of a job well done for a client, it never seems as simple or as easy as that.
We all LOVE Referrals
- The prospect is pre-disposed to work with you because of the referral from someone they know and trust
- The prospect has familiarized themselves with the solutions you offer (they’ve been to your website)
- The sales cycle is generally shorter
- The ROI is higher because your investment in marketing to generate this lead is lower
Despite all of the benefits of having a strong customer advocate program in place – with referrals being the foundation of that program – asking for a referral is difficult.
The best book I’ve read on the topic is “Fearless Referrals” by Matt Anderson. (My copy has seen a liberal use of the yellow highlighter as well as a dozen slips of paper sticking out the top to identify particularly important pages.)
What I especially like about the book is that the author gives very tactical advice such as “say this” and “say it at this time.” The book contains great guidelines on what to say and how to say it while you’re on your way to developing your own natural style of asking.
But more importantly, the book directly addresses how to overcome the reasons we don’t ask such as…
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of people
- Not taking responsibility
- Lack of self confidence
- Uncertainty about what to say
- And a host of other excuses
If you truly believe in the value of referrals – and I know you do – then my first recommendation is to add this book to your summer reading list. Get a comfy chair, a big iced tea, a yellow highlighter, and a notepad to write down your action items.
My second recommendation is to elevate your referral program to a customer advocate strategy. In other words, referrals are just ONE element of an ongoing program that will turn your customers into advocates who will give testimonials, be featured in your case studies, post on social media on your behalf and much more. Visit our Marketing Resources page for a complimentary ebook titled “Beyond the Referral: The Growing Role of Customer Advocates in Technology Marketing.” Learn more about building powerful advocates and utilizing them to help generate more prospects.
The Partner Marketing Group excels at helping software and technology publishers, resellers and ISVs transform customers into long-term brand advocates. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you strategize an effective program to reap the long-term rewards of customer advocacy.