We all know that referrals are a very important source of new business in professional services. Last week, I looked at helping your clients by giving them referrals that they value. Today, I’m focusing on asking those clients to give you referrals.
I’m often surprised at how uncomfortable many senior professional services people are about this when we discuss it in one-to-one coaching sessions. Their main concern is around coming across as pushy. Harvard Business Review noted that most companies leave securing referrals from existing clients to chance, or engage passively, if at all.
Of course, there is a time and a place for asking for referrals. Doing it too early in the relationship can certainly be seen as arrogant.
Why not think of an established client who’s recently provided positive feedback? You could tell them how much the feedback meant to you and that you would value them looking out for opportunities to tell others. If they are positive about this, maybe ask them if they have anyone specific in mind where they could mention you when the opportunity arises.
“In sales, a referral is the key to the door of resistance.” – Robert Bennett
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