Monday, April 07, 2014

Asking for Three

I can't believe it is still being taught in this world of relationships.  But it is!

Many sales managers are still telling their sales people to ask each person they meet with for three referrals.  My guess is that for many it is not too successful.  Here's why!

If you've just met with someone, they really don't know you all that well and let's face it, you don't know them either.  And yet you are asking them to cough up friends and family.  They feel surprised and not in a good way, because they were not expecting this request at this time. Would you hand over your friends' names if the situation were reversed? 

Now I know in the sales world that if you do something long enough it eventually pays off.  So the manager is banking on that one person who gives three great names.  But there are probably 100 who give nothing.  And even worse, the sales person receives three names, just to get them to leave.  Those names now take up so much time following up because they are not very qualified.

Frustration hits and the sales person stops asking way before they get to that one great person.

Even with e-commerce a big part of our purchasing and selling today, we all read the reviews before we purchase.  We don't just blindly turn our money over to someone we don't know.  It's the same with asking for referrals.

Build a relationship and continue that relationship until you have earned the right to the names of that person's best clients or family. 

Tell us what works for you in gaining referrals.

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