The Referral is a part of the sales process.
In my opinion, the referral is the main part of a feedback loop which demonstrates what words are shared after the sale. It is the highest level of expressed satisfaction which is manifested by an action, can be quantified, and realized. The end of a sales transaction, should also be the beginning of a new opportunity!
“In sales, a referral is the key to the door of resistance.” – Robert Foster Bennett
The referral validates the salesperson. It proclaims that someone known experienced great service and is suggesting the service/product be tried. Its an invitation to the party attended by others, thus, there is less resistance to a conversation, based on relationships.
“The basics of business is to stay as close as possible to your customers – understand their behavior, their preferences, their purchasing patterns, etc. ” – Indra Nooyi
Knowing your customer helps with adding value. As you get to know each other, trust is built and insights into how you can help them and others in their network is discovered. This can lead to long lasting relationships which prove mutually beneficial!
“Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh
Excellence in customer service touches on all departments in the business, and the sales team needs the support of everyone. A customer service department in these present times should representation from every member of staff. Operating in silos can break effectiveness of sales and company growth. People buy from people and people refer people in the company that gives great customer service!
“Setting customer expectations at a level that is aligned with consistently deliverable levels of customer service requires that your whole staff, from product development to marketing, works in harmony with your brand image.” – Richard Branson
The expectations of customers are determined by the reputation of your brand. A customer with a problem is like a gift needing wrapping paper and delivery to the person needing gift. Fix the problem, and expectations are elevated, and references are easy to request and be given!
“When customers get help and issue resolution they seek, satisfaction, loyalty, and increased spending tend to follow.” – Dan Gingiss
Loyalty, and renewed business are ways customers express their satisfaction. The best way to build your customer’s trust is to listen, and try to resolve issues. If it can’t be resolved by you, find someone who can do it. The person who will stay till a resolution is found is worthy of a referral and new business.
“The most successful network marketers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person’s need ahead of their own.”- Bob Burg
If your customer does not need the goods, or service, do not sell it. You may need a sale, but when a customer is sold a product or service they don’t need, they remember who not to recommend. Fair-play, kindness, honesty, will bring a lot more consistent business from folks aka customers appreciating your character.
Have a fantastic day, and remember to ask for that referral.