ASK FOR REFERRALS – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #45

101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas

IDEA 45:


Sometimes we are reluctant to ask for referrals, yet if you recommended to a prospect by someone who already buys from you (and is satisfied), that’s likely to give you a small head start. So why is there a reluctance to ask? Is it embarrassment perhaps, or fear of rejection or failure? It is not likely that an existing and happy customer (obviously don’t ask any dissatisfied ones!) will be angry or upset at your asking. They might see it as inappropriate in some way, but if so they are most likely to decline to politely, not shout at you.


Many people do this, but I’ll credit my thinking of it here to the guy who drives me to the airport …

Steve runs a taxi company. Actually that description does not his operation a disservice: he runs a “luxury car service”, and specializes in wedding and events, runs to the airport and longer journeys.  He charges just a little bit more than the Mondeo cowboys who frequent the various taxi companies in the town. (Actually I must not malign them all, but some are perhaps just a touch unreliable). Steve always turns up on time, wears a suit, and drives a rather nice Mercedes. In the car are newspapers, something to drink, and interesting conversation if you cannot find anything to criticize, and that is always a good foundation for selling.

Steve has learnt that referrals is good way to build a business, and always asks if there is anyone he can contact or to whom you can pass on his details. The business card he hands over alongside this request is of good quality, and he can provide a more detailed postcard-size information card too (which mentions for example that he has a six-seated vehicle as well as regular cars). This is the sort of idea that is so simple, so routine, and yet often neglected. Steve makes it a priority, and each time I booked to travel with him he seems to be busier. See you on the 22nd, Steve.

In practice

  • First, if you do this kind of thing you need to support it with the right material.
  • Then it needs to be made a firm habit.

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