When I was originating mortgages for Champion Mortgage full time, most of my business came from my clients. I believe in asking for referrals and the truth is, I probably have more passion for this particular part of sales education than any other. But the question I get asked all the time is, “When do I ask?”
Do I ask during the process? Do I wait until the sale is finalized? Should I wait until they write me a review? In my experience, people who are always analyzing the perfect time to ask for business eventually avoid the task of asking all together. The best time to ask… is NOW! What’s the worst thing that could happen? From my experience, the worst thing is defined as “I can’t think of anyone right now,” and you set the expectation and timing for follow-up.
For some people, asking can be scary, that is why I use the acronym “FEAR” to make my point. Usually at the end of a call or in-person meeting, after I have established an emotional connection, I ask for a few minutes to share something important to me and my business.
Feedback – I ask how I did. The feedback is valuable, and it gives you the chance to say something important and meaningful… “THANK YOU! Your feedback means the world to me.”
Explain how you make a living – “My business is built on earning and obtaining referrals from my clients”. If you’re commission-based, this is also a great time to share that fact. Most of the employed people in the US do not work on commission and earning referrals, so how would they know that YOU do unless you tell them?
Ask! – Based on your feedback and that my business is built by referral… “Who do you care about that I can help for you today?” I ask for people that they care about because it’s sincere. I use the phrase “help for you” because I truly believe I’m doing the client a service by offering to help the people close to them.
Reassure you will follow up! – I always ask permission to follow up if they don’t know of anyone I can help right now. I’ve NEVER had any client in over two decades of selling say, “No, you may not follow up!”
I teach sales professionals to focus on the task at hand: asking for business. It’s your JOB! Just ASK… and whatever happens… happens!” For more information, schedule a chat with me, or consider purchasing my book, “What’s YOUR Woobie? – Simple Strategies on Your Uncomfortable Path to New Opportunities”, where all of this information and more can be found.