In a prior blog about social referral marketing, I wrote about my experience in New York with a front desk person in a hotel. He was bold enough to just ask for a referral. He showed me once more how important it is just to ask. It’s so easy and fun. Or do you prefer to ‘cold call’ people?

Unconsciously he asked himself the following questions. Did I deliver value to my customer? Check. Did my customer experience my value? Check. Did my customer saw a glimpse of my character? I think so. Check.

When to ask for a referral?

When does a small child ask for candy? A child asks when you are delighted. It goes like this. I say ”hey son; you did a great job cleaning up your room.” I expect a direct response to my remark, but what I got in return is this “ Dad, can I have candy.” (Those blizzards). With referrals, it’s the same. Preferably ask when people are happy or delighted. No must, but you will have a more significant chance of getting a motivated ambassador.

How to ask for a referral?

How to ask is comfortable, but only a small percentage of salespeople will ask for a referral. And if they do, they probably ask something like this:

“Hi, how are you. (of course some small talk) I was wondering. I saw on Linkedin you know Mr. Colour Ful from Microhard. Can you make the introduction? It would be of great value for me.”

Come on; you can do better! If you talk to a ‘mercenary,’ who will directly benefit from this referral selling..no problem. You can be as blunt as you can be.

A better question goes like this.

“Hi, how are you..

Great to hear you are happy with my referral marketing expertise. I was wondering. I saw on Linkedin you know Mr. Colour Ful from Microhard. Do you think Mr. Colour Ful could benefit from my referral marketing expertise as much as you did?

Why is this better?

A real ambassador wants to help two people, but there is a sequence. The priority of your advocate is to take care of the ‘other’ person. In practice, this means the following. Is your ‘advocate’ convinced that your solution is favorable for his relation? Only then he is intrinsically motivated to help you. You are important, maybe even ‘mucho’ important, but most crucial is…precisely. Always remember that. That’s how referral selling works in practice.

If you doubt, test it out for yourself.

There are exceptions. For example, if the relationship that you have with the referrer is 20x more important then the relationship that the referrer has with the other person you want to be introduced to.

No is not by definition a rejecting. No often means that your referrer is telling you that his contact is not interested. This saves you time. So either way, you win by asking.

TIP: Always ask why your client is happy with your service. Use the reason in your question to make your question more specific when asking for a referral.

“Great to hear you are happy with our customer service. Do you know somebody in your network who can appreciate our customer service approach as much as you did..