If you’re in sales, you probably want to know how to get more leads. Am I right? Last week, I was discussing lead generation with a salesperson. They use social media, send emails, follow up with all inquiries, and make cold calls F2F and by phone. They work hard to find qualified leads to present their solutions, and their sales show it. They were substantially ahead of last year’s sales numbers.

How to Get More Leads Without Working Harder

The Best Lead You Forgot to Ask for

As we talked about lead generation, how much more productive email was than a cold call, and how following up with a previous customer was easier than knocking on a door, I asked how effective they were at gaining customer referrals. For the most part, they weren’t.

Referrals are among the best, if not the best lead for any salesperson. The prospect has been recommended to you by a friend, someone they trust, and isn’t that what we’re all searching for, whether it’s a car mechanic, dentist, or landscaper—someone we can trust?

The Most Productive Method of Procuring Referrals—EVER! 

Before I go further, you need to know that for this method of gathering referrals to be effective, you must provide a superior product, outstanding service, and great customer follow—up. If you don’t, stop reading right now; you’re wasting your time. Who wants to recommend a mediocre experience to their friends?

Do customers thank you? Do they thank you for superior work, solving problems, servicing your product, or correcting a mistake? When they do, what do you say? “No, I thank you!” OK—nothing wrong with that, but you must take it further. When your customer thanks you for the great job you and your company did, it’s time to ask for referrals. Look your customer in the eye and say, “Thank you. We try our best to meet our customers’ needs. Customers are important to us. May I ask who you know the could use our services and deserves to be treated this way?” I’m not big on verbatim scripts, so put it in your own words, but take the time to ask.

Four Steps to More Referrals  

  • Deliver outstanding products, service, and follow-up
  • Listen for your customer’s appreciation
  • Remind them how important customers are to you
  • Ask for referrals

Creating Evangelists and Advocates

When you’ve created a satisfied customer because of your efforts, ask for their help. You might begin by asking if you could use their name as a referral. Request a signed release, then post photos, create blogs, or share videos and testimonials of the work. Post the information on social media—Facebook, LinkedIn, and X. Share a video on YouTube. It’s free and easy. Once you’ve established your customers as an advocate, ask them to be an evangelist for you.

Advocates allow you to use them to promote your product or service. The evangelist promotes you by recommending you to others. Establishing an evangelical relationship with your happy customer may be easier than you think. Often, all you need to do is ask. Some folks aren’t inclined to help, and others may not have time, but you’ll find many who want to help. They want to see you succeed; they want to be part of your success, and as long as you take care of your customers and their referrals, they will continue to help you succeed.

I changed the title of this post several times. “Work Smarter for Leads not Harder,” “How to Create Product Evangelists,” and “Harvest These Leads or Someone Will.” Regardless, the point is to use your hard work to satisfy customers and help you succeed. You deserve it. How do you ask for referrals?

New Age Consulting

When I was younger, I used every sales trick in the book and even invented a few. I used these tactics to sell and taught others how to dupe a customer into buying the product I wanted to sell, which was only sometimes what the consumer needed. I’m not proud of my early years in sales. I was “that” Salesperson.

Eventually, I learned that helping customers rather than “selling” them built lasting relationships. It not only made good business sense, but it also felt good. It was the right thing to do. Are you ready to do the right thing? Do you want to learn how to be a compassionate sales consultant and increase sales while building your customer base? If so, read this book. How to Sell Without Becoming “that” Salesperson

If you like this post, you might also appreciate, 5 Things Top Consultants Do. 

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash