Your Ideal Time to Ask for Referrals

When salespeople are looking for ways to increase their referrals, they often overlook the important detail of when they are asking for referrals.

“When they ask” includes the timing within their sales cycle and the timing within their sales conversations. Be sure to include these critical elements when you are looking to increase the number of referrals you are getting.

Timing is important because if you ask for referrals too soon or too late, you reduce your chances of getting referrals (worst case scenario) or you make it harder for you to get referrals (best case scenario).

How do you know if you asked for a referral too soon?

There are signs for you to read from your clients and there are things that you will have done that will let you know if your timing is good or not.

If a client hasn’t given you positive feedback indicating they are pleased, you have probably asked too soon. Typically you want to ask and confirm that clients are happy with your product or service before you ask for a referral. So if you haven’t inquired about how happy they are with you and your product or service, you were probably asking too soon.

How do you know if you asked for a referral too late?

You know you’ve asked too late when you have to remind clients of what you and your product have done for them. You want to be asking when the successes they gain from your product or service are fresh in their mind. This timeframe will vary depending on the lasting effects of the benefits of your product or service.

Reflect on your recent sales conversations with your clients when you asked for a referral. Pick one conversation at a time and use a chart like the one below.  List the name of the client and then select the response that is most accurate about your sales cycle timing and your sales conversation timing.

You’ll begin to see a pattern in your timing of asking for referrals. Once you know your pattern, you can adjust your timing of asking accordingly.

The timing of when you ask for a referral can define the success of your referral results.