Sales Tip – The Key to Getting More Qualified Referrals

Sales Tip – The Key to Getting More Qualified Referrals


When salespeople ask for referrals, they often miss the importance of providing satisfied clients with some helpful structure to increase the likelihood of receiving qualified referrals.

Usually clients need a referral trigger from a salesperson to help them think of a contact who would benefit from speaking with the salesperson.

An example of a referral trigger would be to provide the client with a description of your ideal client and then make suggestions of the categories of people that might be a good match for a referral. This kind of specific triggering by salespeople usually provides just enough structure for clients to remember who they know who is a qualified referral.

If you were selling financial services, right after asking for a referral, you might say something like, “It would be someone in a leadership position who you may have heard complain about the poor return they’re getting on their investments. Perhaps one of your clients.”

Pause and be quiet.  Let your client go through their mind to discover who they know who is a good match.

Once you have at least one referral, inquire about the next referral trigger. You could say, “It might be a supplier who you heard complain about their returns.”

Again pause and wait. You get the picture.

Referral Triggers Help Your Clients Qualify Their Referrals

Referral triggers can include a multitude of options, such as a client’s:

  • Current clients
  • Past clients
  • Colleagues
  • Suppliers
  • Association members

Knowing that clients often need a trigger to help them think of someone who is a good match for a referral, make a list of the triggers that would work best for you and your clients.

By using triggers to help clients think of who to refer you to, you increase the number of referrals you’ll get and you will often find those referrals are better qualified than if you didn’t use triggers.

Using referral triggers will help you get more qualified referrals more often.

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