Home > Referrals > I don't know anyone to refer you to.

I don't know anyone to refer you to.

I looked and didn't see this talked about before so I'll ask. Do you find that a lot of people don't know of anyone to refer you to? Does that happen a lot? - by Thomas
I looked and didn't see this talked about before so I'll ask. Do you find that a lot of people don't know of anyone to refer you to? Does that happen a lot?
I think this does happen a lot. Think about how many salespeople mishandle referral requests. - by Mikey
In my business of selling advertising specialties I don't get a lot of help in the referral department from my customers unless the organization is large enough to have more than one center of influence in this regard. At least not enough referrals to be able to say I can really impact my business with them.

I can see how it might work if selling to the consumer, and how important it might be to keeping the pipeline full of prospects.

Chuck - by Sales Pro 1000
This is a common complaint from the salespeople in my training seminars, my coaching clients, and the companies who I talk about referral training with. Other than being told "no" when asking for referrals, this is the most common issue.

The problem actually arises from several problems created by the salesperson:

1) typically the salesperson brings up referrals after the sale--sometimes as they are literally walking out the door, or after they think they've done something to earn them. If the request comes after the sale, the customer has already changed mental gears. They're not thinking about the salesperson and the sale any longer. Instead their mind is elsewhere. The request comes as an unwelcome and unexpected intrusion. If it comes after the salesperson thinks they "earned" referrals but haven't completed the sale, the customer may question their judgement--it isn't the salesperson who decides if they've earned referrals, it's the customer--and that is generally with a satisified customer after they have seen the work completed, not prior to (see #3).

2) because the request is last minute, the customer has had no opportunity to think of whom to refer. They've been given about 10 seconds to go through their mental file cabinet to come up with good names. Now, the request is not only unwelcome, but because the customer has been given no time to think, it's also unreasonable.

3) again, because it's a last minute request, the client hasn't been given the time to get comfortable giving referrals. Clients assume that whomever they refer you to will be more critical and more demanding than they have been. And, certainly, they don't want to be embarrassed in front of family, friends, acquaintances, or co-workers. So, in order to get quality referrals, they need time to get comfortable with the idea of giving referrals and that you won't embarrass them.

4) they have no idea what a good referral for you is. You obviously know what a good referral is. And you may be standing there thinking "give me someone just like you." They're standing there thinking "what does this person want and how do I get rid of them." Assuming customers know is not realistic. They have to be told what a good referral is and they have to have time to think about whom to refer.

There are actually more problems than that, but that gives an idea of why getting referrals is so difficult for most.

It doesn't have to be that way, though. Using a well constructed process to let your clients know that you work by referral, that you expect referrals from them, what a good referral for you is, why giving you referrals is in their best interests, and how you're going to earn the referrals will not only overcome the above problems, but will generate a large quantity of high quality referrals from all most all of your clients.

This system works in consumer sales and business-to-business sales alike. As long as the primary sales process is relationship driven, the referral process works. - by pmccord
I think this does happen a lot. Think about how many salespeople mishandle referral requests.
A mishandled referral request is a problem but so is working with clients without connections and selling products or services that people are uncomfortable referring. - by Houston
If you are selling to individual consumers, I think the following might work.
If you've sat down for the appointment, it is assumed that you have qualified that person as some one that can use and can afford your product or service. They must therefore fit somewhere in your target market, correct? Now, we've all heard the old saying "birds of a feather flock together." So, it is a safe assumption that those that your customer associates with are likely of a similar status or station in life. In the course of some conversation (start talking about food or it being good weather for a BBQ), ask your customer, "If you were going to have a BBQ, what three friends would you be sure to invite." Even if they see what you're getting at, they will likely feel an obligation to be continue for the sake of being a polite conversationalist. They will probably say, "My neighbor John, my brother Billy, and this fella that works with me, Joe." At this point, they can no longer say, "I can't think of anyone" Then ask if you may contact their friends. Even if they object, you still have established that they CAN in fact think of friends. From there you can work to establish that since you have helped them you can help their friends likewise.

-Derek - by drobs
"If you were going to have a BBQ, what three friends would you be sure to invite."
This could work for meeting new people but it would be super if the referrals were more qualfied. A sale today is worth two tomorrow. :in - by Thomas
he is new in the real state business, and im in the car business
the other day i came home for lunch and he was home , i asked
how is work ? he said... slow and asked if he had deals working he said..... one or two ... i think he is geting frustrated because he mension going to work with is friend part time so he make some extra money .......i know the feeling but is good because that's the point you are find out if your realy got what it takes to be a sales person. ups and downs you know....
i asked my brother if he had a prospect list he said he.....i dont know a lot of people that needs to buy a house ... and i toll him forget about that ...


1st...get a note book

2nd...get all your relatives name and numbers that means everybody thats got a phone number,cousins, uncles, mother in law even if you dont get along with them every body

3rd...get all your friends names and numbers,even if there not your friends get names and numbers

4th....every living thing thats got a name and number get it too....and from now on every person you meet, is a oportunity for you to make a sale some day - by vegamario
I love referrals for two combined reasons;

1.) It means I've done my job so well that I've influenced my customer to help me and my business well after their own sale. When someone they've known is looking for a product I deal with, my name pops up.

2.) It's free business


I think it's important to keep the focus on your original customer and not beyond them. I like to leave my service window open as much as possible not only when they are browsing or the sale is freshly completed, but well after the contract has begun. It can be a hassle dealing with old customers you see no extra from helping... but the customer bought from you for a reason, for you.

After my customers are enjoying their service, I'll get in contact with them and see how it's all going then throw open our referrals scheme. What is brilliant about it, is that the new referred customer receives a deal/discount but as well, $50 gets added to the referrers account. Meaning you still keep the old customer as the focus but are able to get the new leads. Often enough too the old customer will do most of the work prior to my initial contact with the new customer. - by MrCharisma
A mishandled referral request is a problem but so is working with clients without connections and selling products or services that people are uncomfortable referring.
Yes. I agree. There are a variety of reasons this happens and happens too often. - by BossMan
from now on every person you meet, is a oportunity for you to make a sale some day
I am just starting in the sales industry and this is SOOOO true!

I have only been doing this for a month now and I have already ran into 3 people who I thought would never have a need for my product or service and have found out that they are connected with someone who does need my product/service! Its an amazingly small world- someone once told me "Watch whose toes you step on today because they may be attached to the butt you have to kiss tomorrow." - by Tabetha16
I am just starting in the sales industry and this is SOOOO true!
I found this to be true too.


Its an amazingly small world- someone once told me "Watch whose toes you step on today because they may be attached to the butt you have to kiss tomorrow."
You never know. hpy3; - by Thomas
I am the Sales Manager for a small Collection agency, and we do telemarketing, mailers, and cold calling to get most of our business. I have not really had my people ask for referals, and I don't know how to go about it, because in every other sales position I've had, we weren't to ask for referals at the time of the sale, the company would follow up after the product was installed, or service had been rendered. What are your tips for getting referals if you've never done it before?

My first plan of action is to get a list of all of our current clients and call them asking for referals.

Secondly I am wondering if when we telemarket a business and they have no need or they're not interested, if we should ask them if they know of anyone who would be having a problem...?

Thirdly Should we do the same in a cold call?

And do you have any other ideas that might help?shds; - by lacey
I looked and didn't see this talked about before so I'll ask. Do you find that a lot of people don't know of anyone to refer you to? Does that happen a lot?
Sure, if you give them a reason to say that.

And typically they will provide that reply when
they feel cornered or surprised by your request for
referrals.

This is why you need to plant the seed, and tell
them you want to discuss referrals with them
and then gain permission to brainstorm together.

At a later time (like tomorrow, for ex)

Good luck. - by MaxReferrals
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