How to get referrals

There's a simple yet ingenious method to increase your chances of getting referrals from everyone you ask.

The above question reminds me of something I read recently in Bob Burg's book Endless Referrals.

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Years ago, Burg joined a company as part of their local sales force. The sales manager asked the question:"How do you get referrals?"

A young sales rep shot his hand up and said, "You ask for them." The manager immediately agreed.

Burg initially thought to himself, "How naive." But he conceded that they we're at least half right.

You do have to ask for referrals. But here's the kicker

Burg says you have to "ask in a way that elicits that person to be able to come up with quality names."

He says it's not enough to ask the question, "Do you know anybody else who could benefit from my products and services?" Because chances are they will stare off into space for a few moments and say something along the lines of

"I can't think of anybody at the moment, but when I do, I'll definitely let you know."

The key is to provide the person with a frame of reference, says Burg.

He gives an example of what he means. The following is a conversation with a person called Joe, who is very influential in your community. You actually know Joe pretty well and have previously sent some business his way:

You: Joe, you we're telling me you're an avid golfer.

Joe: Yes, I am. Been playing for over 20 years. If I ever get to retire, I'll probably play every day. Right now, though, it's only on weekends. I mean, every weekend.

You: Hmm. Is there a specific foursome you play with most of the time?

Joe: Well, yeah, there's Joe Martin, Harry Browne, and Nancy Goldblatt.

You: Joe, as far as you know, would any of them need?

And then Burg says you get into the benefits of what you do.

Get the idea?

Instead of asking a question that targets people in general, you ask a question that targets a specific, limited number of people.

Here's another example Burg cites:

You: How long have you been involved in the Rotary Club?

Joe: About six years now. Great bunch of people.

You: Joe, are there one or two people in your club that you tend to sit next to every night?

[Notice you didn't ask, "Does anyone in your club need ...?" It might be a large club, thus you would be right back with same problem of too many people for him to be able to isolate anyone.]

Joe: Really just one person: Mike O'Brien. Been friends with him and his family for years.

You: Has Mike ever mentioned possibly being in the market for a?

Burg says that once you get the first couple of names, you start to expand your list to include as many people as possible. He says the first name is the most difficult. The others tend to fall into place easily.

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Posted in Jobs/Employment Post Date 02/27/2021


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