Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

Sales Referrals Increase Your Pipeline & Credibility

by Debbie Boucher on Tue, Aug 12, 2008

Requesting referrals from clients/prospects is critically important when sales prospecting. Referrals will increase your pipeline and establish credibility with prospects. You are significantly more likely to get a call back when you leave a voicemail stating that "So-and-so from XYZ Company suggested I call you about our solution."

Below are some techniques for getting referrals:

  • The Top Down Request: You can speed up the sales cycle with a top-down referral (with the decision maker referring to someone on their team). "I know you ae not the person who would actively evaluate our solution but who on your team would be?"  While you don't quite have "buy in", there is "approval" from management to look at your product.


  • The Narrow Down Request: It's easier to choose from 20 people than from the world so this approach narrows the choices. "Are there any other people within your organization who could benefit from our solution?"

The following request is my all time favorite and I have great success with it!

  • Help Me Request: On a whole, people like to help, so when you pose an open ended question it usually works. "I was hoping you could help me, can you think of anyone (else) who could benefit from our solution?"

  • Thank You Request: Thanking the person before the referral makes them feel obligated to help. "If you could point me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it."

  • The Guilt Request: Believe me this one works (just ask my mother-in-law . . . just kidding). "I realize our solution does not seem to meet your requirements at this point in time, can you think of anyone that might benefit?"

  • The Good Friend Request: Here's another great way to request a referral. "Can you think of someone within your organization or industry, who should know about our solution?"

  • The "If You Were Me" Request: This places the person in your shoes and makes them stop and think about it. "If you were me, and you wanted to let people know about our solution, who would you call?"

So remember, it's important to ask for a referral at the close of every conversation!

If anyone has other techniques that have worked, please post them!

Topics: sales tips, best practices, sales techniques

Get the latest SDR, AE, and CSM insights in your inbox.


What do you think?