Very often, salespeople are asked by their managers to get referrals after seeing
a customer. When a salesperson visits a customer and is able to generate 3 to 5
more leads, this would be a good way to sustain a list of potential clients for
future visits. But in reality, getting 3 to 5 sales leads from your client is not as
easy as it seems. When attempting to get the 5 prescribed sales leads, it seemed
more elusive than expected. Surely, it cannot be that difficult, right? All we are
asking for are just five names. We are not asking our current customer anything
more than to give us five names and contact numbers. Why is it so difficult for
customers to accede to our requests?
When you ask for five contacts, your customers are not referring their friends to
you – rather, they are referring you to their friends. There is a distinct difference
between the two. In the former case, their contacts want to get in touch with
you. In the latter, it is you who want to get in contact with his connections. By
giving you five names and five contact numbers, your client may not even have
gotten permission from the people his list to let you call them. There is a huge
element of risk on his part. In some countries, there is a DNC (Do Not Call)
registry that protects the privacy of a person, preventing unsolicited phone calls
from strangers. This has caused a further blow to the already difficult referral
process, and can be quite debilitating.
“There are some risk involved when it comes to referring someone.”
So let us first list the type of traits people look for in a salesperson before they
open their contact list to them.
Integrity is one of the key components people look for before they open up their
database to you. Unless you have shown that you have conducted your business
with integrity, they may be slow to open up their contact list to you. Just a small
question mark that they have about you could be the prime reason why you
have not been successful in obtaining referral contacts.
Have you conducted your business with integrity?
Have they any reason to doubt you?
Have they at any instance felt that you are not revealing the truth entirely?
Have you been exaggerating or bending the truth about your product?
When you appear to be evasive or dishonest, it actually shows up in your body
language. Customers may not be body language experts, but their frontal cortex
(the front part of the brain) enables them to subconsciously receive all the signs,
and will tell them that something does not seem right about this person. So be
sincere in the way you do your business. Integrity ensures loyalty from
Likeability is the other factor people look for in a salesperson before they share
their contacts with them. If you are likeable to them, they deem that you will be
likeable to their contacts too. If they like you, they will assume that their friends
will like you too, and therefore, the chances of them sharing their database with
you will increase substantially.
It is really about whether your client likes you after that first meeting. Did you
put your client in a positive emotional zone, or did you put him or her in a
negative emotional zone?
In the positive zone, they are filled with positive emotions. This includes
happiness, pleasure, hope, excitement etc. In the negative zone, your client is
filled with negative emotions. Emotions like fear, anger, frustration, feeling
Needless to say, people in the positive zone will react in a positive way. If they
are in the positive zone, the stage is set for you to do your selling, or for you to
build a relationship with them. In the opposite end, if you put them in the
negative zone with heaps of negative emotions, they are really not in the mood
to close a sale or to put you in touch with their friends.
Ask yourself each time you conclude a meeting with your client: were you
motivating and uplifting?
Did they feel charged up just by being with you?
Were you fun to be with? Did they enjoy your company?
Do you have a good sense of humour, and are people delighted to be in your
Are you knowledgeable and interesting, so much that it makes people intrigued
Were you courteous, kind, and gracious?
Or were you pressure selling and not giving the customer a chance to say no?
Putting them off and sending them deep into the negative zone?
Did the customer want to meet you again, or was it that he just could not wait to
get rid of you?
What else can you do to make yourself more socially attractive?