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Referrals - Before the close experiment

As we all know, a referral is one of the strongest leads a salesperson can own. With the type of product and service I sell, I am asking for referrals as much as I am asking for the sale. I do this with all of my prospects and with a solid success rate. In return, I have many hot referral leads which don't cost me a dime.

For the past two weeks I have been experimenting with asking for the referrals before the sale and it has been working out incredibly well.

1. It's a different approach for me that breaks up my usual everyday presentation. The change has added some extra enthusiasm on both ends.

2. It's another yes from the prospect (and part of my close) before I ask for the sale from them.

3. I believe this puts the prospect in a unique position.

A. It allows them to feel more "Important" or "Involved" with the whole process by recommending others to participate.

B. When it's time for them to buy from me, they don't want to feel any type of "awkwardness" or "embarrassment" buy not buying what I offer after they have just given me the names and numbers of others who they know will know hear the same offer.

My results have been that my larger and mid ticket sales have remained about the same and my smaller ticket "drop sales" have nearly doubled. I'm also getting twice as many referrals that I had been when asking for them after the money is in my hand.

Neat experiment! I'm going to run with this for a while and see how much I can grow it.

What do you all think of this idea?
Has anyone tried something similar? - by bluenote
You ask for the referral before asking for the sale? - by Houston
Bluenote,
Not quite sure I follow this one. Are you trying to say that even those you haven't sold to you ask them for referals, I guess assuming that they are happy with your service even though they haven't purchased from you????

:dun - by Indep Rep
Hello Bluenote,
I have never tried anything like this before and I think that if it working for you great - All the best with that.

Be sure to let us know the outcome after a while longer.

Thansk - by Snowboy
Sorry for delay on the reply here guys...

Yes, this experiment has proven well for me for the past couple of weeks. It works for what I sell which is both a product and service through a telephone sale. Overall, my total sales have been up approx. 18% using this method.

I've hired two new sales people who started with me on Monday and I've been training them on the old presentation which I know is proven.

I'm not sure if the experiment is truly worth while yet and i won't be able to make this determination until I see if it has any affect on the closing % of the follow up sale.

I'll keep you updated! - by bluenote
Sorry for delay on the reply here guys...

Yes, this experiment has proven well for me for the past couple of weeks. It works for what I sell which is both a product and service through a telephone sale. Overall, my total sales have been up approx. 18% using this method.

I've hired two new sales people who started with me on Monday and I've been training them on the old presentation which I know is proven.

I'm not sure if the experiment is truly worth while yet and i won't be able to make this determination until I see if it has any affect on the closing % of the follow up sale.

I'll keep you updated!
Well done mate,
please do - by Snowboy
I have been using this method for years and here is what it does; it makes the prospect who is soon to be a customer believe they are going to get "a better deal" by giving you valuable referrals in exchange for a great deal. Think about it for a second. It's the law of reciprocity to the extreme. You give me referrals so you get a great deal... Magic! Then you present your figures to the prospect who already thinks he is getting a great deal. It's all in the PERCEPTION of what a great deal is.

Great post and I hope this clears things up for those who don't understand it or may not think it could work. I dare you to try it!thmbp2;

salespro - by salespro
I have been using this method for years and here is what it does; it makes the prospect who is soon to be a customer believe they are going to get "a better deal" by giving you valuable referrals in exchange for a great deal. Think about it for a second. It's the law of reciprocity to the extreme. You give me referrals so you get a great deal... Magic! Then you present your figures to the prospect who already thinks he is getting a great deal. It's all in the PERCEPTION of what a great deal is.

Great post and I hope this clears things up for those who don't understand it or may not think it could work. I dare you to try it!thmbp2;

salespro
Salespro,

Thank you for adding to this thread. That's an interesting perspective that I hadn't though of!

I didn't think I was reinventing the wheel with this method, but sure enough... it works well and is extremely profitable.

This had no effect on my follow up sale and overall my sales are now up 32% in one month which includes my referral sales. This is huge!

Amazing how a simple rearrangement of my everyday presentation had such a significant impact on my company's bottom line.

I too, challenge you all to adapt this method into your presentation and work it's magic! - by bluenote
bluenote

This is an interesting idea. Would you mind me asking, what field you work in?

I find referrals, like yourself, very powerful but I'm going to have to question how you ask for referrals before the sales is completed. I've always worked off a 100% customer service style and then gaining referrals with a follow up contact call.

My greatest concern with asking for referrals before the sales is completed would be losing my initial sale... potentially looking greedy, self caring or pure money driven which drives the customer away. - by MrCharisma
The problem with it is that many things that work aren't ethical. Trying to dupe a prospect into believing he or she is getting something they aren't is unethical in most every system of ethics I'm aware of. How can it be justifed other than greed and "it works"? - by pmccord
bluenote

This is an interesting idea. Would you mind me asking, what field you work in?

I find referrals, like yourself, very powerful but I'm going to have to question how you ask for referrals before the sales is completed. I've always worked off a 100% customer service style and then gaining referrals with a follow up contact call.

My greatest concern with asking for referrals before the sales is completed would be losing my initial sale... potentially looking greedy, self caring or pure money driven which drives the customer away.
I sell advertising. A very specific type of advertising that is essentially and ego/business based decision on my clients part. It benefits their need, greed and business' bottom line. - by bluenote
The problem with it is that many things that work aren't ethical. Trying to dupe a prospect into believing he or she is getting something they aren't is unethical in most every system of ethics I'm aware of. How can it be justifed other than greed and "it works"?
Paul,

C'mon now. We're in sales... What's unethical about asking for referrals before the transaction? It's just another approach that has proven well for my company.

This is not "duping" the customer. I can do nothing but laugh at what you have said. As if, we are strong-arming people into an inflated IPO lol. Give me a break man...

I understand you claim to be a Best selling author, Speaker, Sales Trainer & Management Consultant by your signature in your profile but don't insult me before you have your facts straight. - by bluenote
"I have been using this method for years and here is what it does; it makes the prospect who is soon to be a customer believe they are going to get "a better deal" by giving you valuable referrals in exchange for a great deal. Think about it for a second. It's the law of reciprocity to the extreme. You give me referrals so you get a great deal... Magic! Then you present your figures to the prospect who already thinks he is getting a great deal. It's all in the PERCEPTION of what a great deal is."

That's the quote I was referring to. If that isn't unethical, I don't know what is. Since when is trying to make a prospect think they are getting a deal when they aren't ethical?

I didn't say asking for referrals before the sale has been consumated is unethical, but the above certainly is. - by pmccord
Paul,

C'mon now. We're in sales... What's unethical about asking for referrals before the transaction? It's just another approach that has proven well for my company.

This is not "duping" the customer. I can do nothing but laugh at what you have said. As if, we are strong-arming people into an inflated IPO lol. Give me a break man...

I understand you claim to be a Best selling author, Speaker, Sales Trainer & Management Consultant by your signature in your profile but don't insult me before you have your facts straight.
Bluenote,

One of the great things about this forum is that we get to bounce ideas around and even disagree with each other.

But there's no need to personally attack another person with whom you disagree. When you wrote to Paul "I understand you claim to be a Best selling author, Speaker, Sales Trainer & Management Consultant by your signature in your profile but don't insult me before you have your facts straight." I see that as an inappropriate personal attack. C'mon- let's keep things cordial around here, even if you disagree with someone or they disagree with you.

Thank you. - by Skip Anderson
Bluenote,

One of the great things about this forum is that we get to bounce ideas around and even disagree with each other.

But there's no need to personally attack another person with whom you disagree. When you wrote to Paul "I understand you claim to be a Best selling author, Speaker, Sales Trainer & Management Consultant by your signature in your profile but don't insult me before you have your facts straight." I see that as an inappropriate personal attack. C'mon- let's keep things cordial around here, even if you disagree with someone or they disagree with you.

Thank you.
You are absolutely right. The idea of this forum is to network and bounce ideas off each other.

Paul didn't quote anybody's words when he gave his reply so how could I take what he said in any other way besides towards the original poster, which is me.

Paul, I apologize for what I said. - by bluenote
Paul didn't quote anybody's words when he gave his reply so how could I take what he said in any other way besides towards the original poster, which is me.

Paul, I apologize for what I said.
Not a problem.

I made the mistake of assuming people would know which I was speaking of since it was the post that gave a concrete example of how the poster was implementing it and what the "benefit" to the customer was. - by pmccord
Bluenote this is a very interesting approach. When in the sales process do you ask for the referrals? just before you close the sale? Also, would you give me an example of how you ask them?

Thanks - by cjp231
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