Ask Right Now


By Neal Glatt

Sales is hard work.  But for some of us, it’s as easy as accepting an introduction because we have a group of people who consistently refer us to qualified buyers.  If you aren't getting enough amazing referrals for what you sell, let’s fix it right now in less than 10 minutes.  First of all…

You have to ask.  The number one reason why salespeople don’t get enough referrals is because they don’t ask.  Here’s how the referral conversation usually gets postponed:

A salesperson gets a good lead with positive momentum.  Instead of asking for a referral now, they think to themselves, “This person would never refer me - they haven’t even signed up for services yet!”  So they wait.

That prospect becomes a client, signing an agreement for work to be performed.  Rather than ask who else they may know that also would like to sign up, the salesperson rationalizes inaction by thinking, “As soon as this job is complete, I’ll have a really good reason to ask for a referral.”  So they wait.

Over the performance of the contract, something inevitability happens that makes the experience less than perfect.  Maybe materials get delayed or a new worker makes a mistake or the customer expects a different frequency of communication.  Working through the issue and completing the job, the salesperson then thinks, “Too bad things didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.  This customer will definitely not refer to me now.”  So they never ask and go back to a life of mediocre sales performance working the hard way.

The truth about referrals, like many things in life, is that we get what we ask for rather than what we deserve.  Why would someone refer a salesperson before they signed a contract?  Because people love to help people.  Why would a new customer who hasn’t received services yet refer a new contractor?  Because people are never more excited about a purchase than just before and immediately after they swipe their credit card.  Why would a customer who didn’t have a great experience refer someone else to work?  Because nothing in life is perfect and those who eventually make things right still have far more value than those who fail and disappear.

Of course, there is a proper technique to get the most results from asking for referrals.  It requires a very specific request, properly chosen language, and lots of practice.  Often, we need to brainstorm referral sources with our clients and do the heavy lifting of creating email templates that can be forwarded.  Sometimes we even have to ask for specific individuals to be introduced to based on social connections we discover.  But we never get what we don’t ask for.

If you’re not sure why you’re getting enough referrals, or you know someone in your company who should be selling more work than they currently are, I’ll invite you to connect with me to chat.  Why would I do this for you?  Because I believe in giving generously like I expect others to give generously.  Simply send me an email at and we’ll find a time to brainstorm what would be helpful for you to get the referrals you deserve.  Get the courage to ask for what you want and I promise you’ll start to find you get it more often.

Tags: Sales , Referrals , Buyers ,