Partners in Performance Blog

3 Reasons You’re Not Using Referral Marketing for New Leads


The most streamlined source of new business is to develop opportunities with existing clients, including asking them for referrals.

Event marketing, email marketing, research marketing, social media marketing are all excellent strategies for getting new leads for sales.  But by far, one of the most under-utilized source of new business: referral marketing.

According to a study titled “Referral Programs and Customer Value” (published January 2011 issue of the American Marketing Association’s Journal of Marketing), customer referral programs are indeed a financially attractive way for firms to acquire new customers.

There’s nothing like having someone who knows you, trusts you and values your work to open the door for you.  An introduction is the best way to break through the corporate filters. For next to no investment in marketing dollars, you can increase your leads by tenfold. And it’s easy.

Then why aren’t we all using referral marketing more often to get great leads? There are plenty of reasons:

  • Fear: We’re uncomfortable asking. After all, aren’t we imposing when we ask a client for a referral?
  • Don`t know who to ask: We want new leads but we aren’t clear and specific about who we want to be referred to. Hence, we aren’t making it easy for our busy clients.
  • Don’t know how: Even when we have the courage to ask for a referral, how the heck do we do it?  How do you ask, and when?

5 Step Formula to Prime the Referral Mining Machine

How you ask an existing client to give you an effective introduction makes all the difference in the world. It’s part of my Intentional Selling training program I use for my clients. Don’t assume that you should automatically know how to do this successfully. There are a few tactics that work well that are worthy and you may not be using them.

I’ve been asking for referrals for a long time, but I had to learn the hard way how to get them so that the referrals turn into sales. With a little practice, you can develop your own referral mining machine. Here’s the 5-step formula I use:

  1. Overcome the Fear
  2. Make Your Timing a Repeatable Habit
  3. Be Clear Who You Want To Be Referred To
  4. Know How to Ask
  5. Say ‘Thank You’ Multiple Times

1. Overcome the Fear

Your mindset about asking for referrals will make or break your success in referral mining. You can tell yourself that:

  • Asking for a referral is an imposition on my client or colleague.”
  • Or, “Most people are happy to help others assuming that it is easy for them to do so and there are no negative consequences.”

The question is which of these examples of ‘self talk’ is more resourceful? Which example is more likely to produce referrals for you? When you’ve done the preparation before you approach your client, you can remind yourself that you’re making it easy for them.

In my follow-up posts, I’ll say more about the ‘who’ and ‘how’ of asking your clients for really good referrals.

What’s been your experience with asking? Ever get a good referral yet nothing happened? I’d love to hear about yours, share a comment or contact me here.

(photo: freedigitalphotos.net)




This entry was posted by TanjaParsley on March 4, 2014 in Intentional Selling™, Referral Marketing, Sales Follow Up, Sales Tools. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *