From time to time, some of you send me questions (which I strongly encourage). I try to answer them all. Here’s an actual question I received a while back (I never share your real names).
I hope my answer is helpful to you in some way.
QUESTION: “Hal, I need help on how to ask for referrals. I think it could really help my business grow if I just asked people I’m already working with if they have friends I could work with…but I can’t get over this mental block that it’ll come across desperate, so I end up not doing it. What’s the best way to ask for referrals without sounding needy or like you’re using your friends/existing clients? That’s what I need help on now.” Bob
MY ANSWER: Believe me Bob, you’re not alone. This is a very common obstacle for lots of folks.
However, the FACT is…… if you don’t ask……you won’t receive….at least not nearly as many.
So, here’s a tip you can use: (There are lots of creative ways to generate referrals. This is just one of them.)
Listen very carefully for the words, “Thank You”. This is very important. When you have just solved a problem for someone by providing a great service, and they thank you for it, they are at the very peak of their acceptance of you.
This is the absolute best time to ask for the referral!
Here’s the standard line that I recommend: “You are welcome. Glad I was able to help you. Now, if you don’t mind, could I ask you to do me a small favor?”
They will almost ALWAYS respond, “Sure” or “Yes”.
Now….what just happened? They have now verbally committed to do you a favor.
Did you know that people more than 10 times as likely to follow through on something once they have verbally stated they will do it? It’s true. (Based on a study by two psychologists, Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard)
So, now the person has committed to do you the favor. You respond with the following statement:
“Could you give me the name of someone else you know who might, at some point, need my service? I’d like to send them some FREE information and let them know that I have been able to help YOU and I am here for them too if they need me.”
At this point, you hand them a little referral card or form, and a pen to write with. Then just stand there and wait as if you expect them to do it. If they need a little coaxing, then coax them a little.
Don’t let them off the hook so easily (They won’t bite you).
You’ll be surprised how many referrals this little technique will lead to.
Trust me…..asking for referrals in no way conveys desperation, unless YOU convey desperation.
So.….be CONFIDENT…… look them in the eyes…….and ASK!
It won’t work every time. Nothing ever does. But once you try it a few times and get over your anxiety of asking, you will become much more comfortable and confident. You can tweak the process as you go along, and, believe it or not, it will actually become something you get very good at and look forward to.
And it will lead to MORE REFERRALS and MORE NEW BUSINESS.
Remember….the worst possible thing they can do is say NO. And if they do, you just move on to the next one…..period. You don’t dwell on it. It’s OK to be told NO. Really, it is!
But…..when you get a good referral every now and then, and it leads to good new business….well, that ain’t to shabby for just asking a question.
Thanks to those of you who respond to my emails. I hope my suggestions are helpful to you in some way.
If you have a question you’d like for me to answer, or if you’re faced with a situation in your pest control business you’d like to get my opinion on, just give me a call or send me an email.
My phone number is 770-993-0004. My email is Hal@HalColeman.com.
I would love to help YOU grow your pest control business this year!