As you may know, I am the greatest believer in generating as much business as possible from referrals because referrals are usually easier to make an appointment with, easier to sell to and more likely to refer you on to others.
What many people forget is that suppliers can be an excellent source of referrals and a source of lead generation and I am referring to people who supply you on a personal basis as well as suppliers whom you purchase from for your business. Suppliers should have a vested interest in keeping you happy, after all, you are spending money with them!
When I mention this subject in my Master Classes there are some people who seem to have a resistance to this approach, but these are inevitably the people who have a resistance to asking for referrals from anybody.
A salesperson’s story…
Some months ago I received a telephone call from a salesperson who had attended a workshop I ran several weeks before and who wanted to update me on her progress. Mary sold security grills and other security products for commercial premises. Following my advice and during the following week, she had asked everyone she personally spent money with for referrals. She asked the owner of her local corner store where she bought her morning newspaper. She asked the manager of her local supermarket where she did her weekly shop. She asked the person on the till at her local garage when she filled up with petrol. She asked the manager in the local DIY shop when she went in to purchase some screws she needed to put up a shelf. She asked her hairdresser when she went to have her hair styled and she asked the local dry cleaner when she went to pick up her clothes. In fact she asked every single person she came into contact with when she was buying from them.
Her approach was very straightforward. She would simply say “I’d really appreciate your help please. I don’t know if I have told you this before but I sell security systems for offices, shops and factories. Who do you know within about a fifty mile radius from here who runs a business that operates from an office, shop or factory please?”
She also asked her manager for a list of suppliers the company used and has started to contact them. Within three weeks she told me that she had received over seventy-five new referrals and had stopped asking for the moment because she was simply too busy to follow them all up.
Could this work for you too? There is only one way to find out for certain and that of course is to ask. Let me know how you get on please.
If you want to be generating most, if not all your new business from referrals, check out my recent book titled Winning Sales Referrals.