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What is your best tactic for asking and getting referrals from customers?

Referrals from customers are the best sales. Shorter cycles, less price resistance and easier access to ideal buyer. But 'how' do you ask for that referral and when? Right after a sale, in an email. 6-months later in a phone call?


What's your tried and true 'go to' tactic for asking and getting the right kind of B2B referrals? Let's assume it's an VP/C level 5 figure sale. Thanks..

Asking for a referral
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๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
๐Ÿ”Ž Prospecting
3
LordBusiness
Politicker
+7
Chief Revenue Officer
I think the most common misconception with referrals is that the customer referring you is making a recommendation, not a referral.ย  I ask on EVERY SINGLE discovery call. "Do you have a colleague, at this company or a previous company who's looking to solve similar challenges as you are you can connect me with?"ย  Most folks just don't want to be on the hook for making a recommendation, which is why its important to not ask for one.ย 
Stardust
WR Officer
+9
President
Thank you. That's the kind of advice I'm looking for.ย 
LordBusiness
Politicker
+7
Chief Revenue Officer
No worries, I tell my sellers that referrals are a simple "nothing ventured, nothing gained" territory.ย 
LoneMaverick
Opinionated
+3
Strategic Account Leader
I usually just ask for it. ย linked on has made it very easy to see where mutual connections are. ย If you have a good customer who you share a connection with a prospect its a no brainer. ย 

People love helping other people. ย Be humble ask for help, tell them why you think you're a good fit for their connection.
Stardust
WR Officer
+9
President
Thanks.ย  That's one area I need to do better at - going through people's LI connections and identifying target ICPs.ย 

Do
Dollar
Executive
+6
Enterprise AE
Selling in Asia, I've learnt one thing that its quite easy (and acceptable) to have your customers on whatsapp here and chat there. It not only makes the deal cycle easy and fast, it also allows for back-channelling and getting feedback informally.ย 
Usually I come out of 2-3 champions in every deal who end up being on my whatsapp. Once the deal is closed, I stay in close touch during implementation cycles and keep sharing industry insights. Usually, around this time is when I'll ask for intros to certain people. (I usually do some research here in terms of their connections, who they might be close with based on linkedin activity, their last companies etc.)
woof
WR Officer
+4
Account Executive
I think it depends on the relationship you've built but I would say immediately at purchase is a great time to ask for a referral because that's when they are most excited.ย 


If I have a really good relationship with someone I'll just say Hey, do you know anyone else who may benefit from x? and ask for a personal introduction.ย 
Stardust
WR Officer
+9
President
Thanks. That helps.ย  Let's say they are happy, getting lots of value but won't/ "can't think of any" - what does that mean?ย  How would you handle that?
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
Can you add a question...How to ask for their testimonials to share on our website?
Stardust
WR Officer
+9
President
@SalesPharaohย I have lots of success in asking and getting testimonials.ย  Timing is key. I typically ask for them at a couple of points:ย  1) AFter the first big 'ROI' event when they are beaming, 2) After a 'you saved my ass' event, 3) at the end when the company decides to not renew and the contact feels guilty, or 4) when I ask for a press release and they decline, they say yes to testimonial out of guilt.ย  Often I draft the testimonial for them to edit - makes the process easier and you have some control over the message.ย  Never restrict the usage of the testimonial to just the website, just get approval to use anywhere except in a press release - that way you can use it in datasheets, sales decks, etc.ย  ย 
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
thank you very much!
atxsalesguy17
Good Citizen
SMB Account Executive
I like to leverage referrals through out my negotiation process. For me, our software is a premium and everybody looking at us knows that.ย 

With our software being a premium, everybody wants to find a way to pay less, that's everyones goal when buying something.ย 

With that being said, I use that as one of my levers for helping with pricing, payment terms, etc.ย 

"Yes we may be able to help a little bit on pricing, but in order to do that my ask would be for you to provide me with X number of your clients that would be interested in having a conversation with myself"
Stringer
Arsonist
+8
SDR
I started doing this heavily this year with customers and cold-prospects. Every single email I get that says Not Interested, I search their LinkedIn, whose commenting on their post, whose posts they've been commenting on, previous companies and other employees still at those companies that overlapped with his timeline. I find someone that I know they know, then I ask by giving them a copy-paste template.

Real email that lead to referral that closed.ย 
Hiย Jennifer,
Appreciate the response. It seems to be all about timing, and looks like we just missed it! I'll make a note to loop back around in Q4.
On another note;
XYZ is a company on my radar that I haven't been able to crack into. Can you introduce me to XYZ?
Sample email:jared@email (I think is his email)
Hey jared,
I can't believe it has already been 2-years since leaving XYZ. I think about you guys often and haveย continuedย to follow the success of the team. As to be expected, it sounds like everyone is killing it! Thought you might haveย interest in this company called My Company. They are doing some really great things in the conversation intelligence space. We utilize someone else, but I cc'd xyz, a rep from My Company. I promise he won't be overbearing, and if he is, just kick him to the curb, no harm done.ย 
Anyways, I'll let you two take it from here.
Keep rockin on Alex,
Jennifer

Would appreciate it if you can help me get in the door, but no fret if not, and I'll loop back in Nov.

Cheers,
my name
Stardust
WR Officer
+9
President
Oh man, you ROCK. Thank you.
Stringer
Arsonist
+8
SDR
@Stardustย - Go get em!!
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