My 3 Favorite Moments To Ask For Referrals

referrals relationships Aug 19, 2017

Referrals Don't Happen by Accident if You Know When to Ask

Did you like my Wisdom?  If so, please share it with anyone who is looking to grow their referrals by fully leveraging their greatest untapped source of new clients, the ones who have already experienced success with them. – Matt


Let's be honest, most of us treat referrals as these magical moments when we're handed well-deserved business by our adoring fans, who also happen to be our best customers.  Here's the problem with that antiquated way of thinking, it reduces the profitable art of growing through referrals to random moments that we don't have any control over.

Like Rudy Giuliani once said, "Hope is not a strategy".

In that case, allow me to introduce the required "strategy" for getting quality referrals not only consistently, but predictably.

That's right, you can make referrals one of the cornerstones of developing your business...that is, if you know when, and how, to ask for them.  Unlock the mystery (and the money) in this week's Windshield Wisdom.

Full Transcript:

Hey everybody, how's it going.  Matt Middendorp, the owner and founder of Sales Math, here to talk today about a question that has come up over and over again this week, and that is "Matt, how and when do I get referrals?"  It's come up a lot.  It's come up with customers, actually twice on calls with customers.  It came up in a training session with a client, and it came up in both of my Grow Together Sales Mastermind groups.  Which in itself is pretty remarkable given the incredible diversity of things that we talk about in those groups.

So, here's the trick guys, I believe that when you're going to ask for referrals, and asking is the best way to get referrals.  I know we all want customers who are so moved by the profound experience of working with us that they spontaneously gush business to us.  And that does happen, especially if you're doing what you say you're going to do when going above and beyond.  Here's the truth, we aren't going to get enough of that to build a business.  I want to make a point here, getting referrals can be the primary customer acquisition method in your business.

You can grow and sustain a business simply from asking for referrals at the right time in the right way.  I believe in asking early, late, and later.

The first time I ask is "early".  Usually for me there is some point in the process, either when they're signing with me or right before hand, where there's a ton of value and passion being shared.  We're excited about what we're going to accomplish, and it's OK for me to say to them, "Listen, I know this smart passionate person who I think you should get to know.  Are there any smart, passionate people you know that I would enjoy meeting?"  There's a process in play at this point.  You must do the research ahead of time.

I've said it over and over again, in business you are going to be successful if you surround yourself with smart, passionate people.  So, who do you know?  Who's in your network, look on LinkedIn if you aren't sure, that you could bring their name to this meeting and say, "You should really get to know them, not as a potential customer, but as someone worth knowing."  As a result, they will give you people worth knowing in return.  In my experience, if you ask for those smart, passionate people, if you're the right person, then more often than not they turn into customers too.  So early in the process share a connection and ask for one or two as well.

Early...Late.  Late in the process is usually as you're starting to wrap things up.  You may have just finished, or you're seeing success.  You did what you said you would do.  They're growing and building what you promised.  It is perfectly OK at this point to say, "I really appreciate what you've accomplished.  Thank you so much for being successful in working with me.  Who else do you know that would want the same success that you're having?"  You're not asking for somebody who is struggling.  In my case, I'm not asking for somebody who isn't growing like they want to grow.  I'm not asking for somebody who is challenged by what's happening.  I'm asking for others who want the success that they're having.  Maybe they're having it already, and your customer doesn't know, but you're asking for that incredible distinction.  You're doing what you say you're going to do.  They're growing.  They're confident.  They're seeing a difference in their business, and you're asking for other people who may want to see that difference too.

The third time I ask for referrals is Later.  For me it's usually 3-6 months after we've wrapped up.  For those of you that have worked with me you know that I stay in contact.  I want to make sure things are continuing to work for you, and at some point in that process, if you're continuing to grow, and you're continuing to build your business, and the confidence is still there to continue to go out and do this, then I will simply say, "Fantastic!  I'm excited about what you're continuing to accomplish now that we're done.  Who else do you know that wants to win like you're winning?  Who else do you know that doesn't have the confidence that you have who wants to be successful?"  Again, if you can give referrals that's a great time to do it, but most of the time you don't have to.  It's a great way to do it.  Trust me, giving referrals is the best way to get them.  I'm never going to discount that, even for a second.  You should always be looking for chances to share business, but you should also look for chances to share the change that you're asking for.

So Early, Late, and Later.  Early you're giving and asking for a connection.  Late you're asking for someone who wants the success their having.  Later you're giving and asking for someone who wants confidence in the benefits you give.

There's one more thing I want to say here, then I want to share with you a free tool that goes along with this.  The one other idea I want to talk about is the value of these referrals and the fact that you cannot screw them up.  This should probably be a separate Windshield Wisdom, but I want to take 30 seconds and talk about this.  Getting referrals is like a tree.  You bring in a customer, have success, and ask for referrals.  Suddenly you have 1 or 2 more customers, and it continues to grow and expand until you have this network of referral partners you're continually growing and mining.  So if you get a referral from somebody and you screw it up with the person they referred, not only did you lose a potential customer and revenue for your business, but you also lost another potential source of referrals.  Guess what?  Not only did you lose a potential repeat customer, our best customers are the ones who have already bought and found success from us...I'm on my third round with two of my customers because they keep growing and adding to their sales and management teams, and I've only been in business for 2.5 they aren't going to refer to you either.  You're going to lose future referrals.  You're losing a potential customer, and the referrals that could come from them.

What worse thing could happen to your business than that?

Be extra diligent.  Be twice as on top of the amazing effort you always make to follow-up and do what you say you're going to do, and take care of those referrals first, above all things.  In my business, even when I'm booked out 6 months and somebody refers a customer to me, I bring them in anyway, because they sent me a customer and I don't want to screw that up.

As promised, I have a tool I give to my customers that I want to share with you.  It's called an After Meeting Thought-List.  Here's the idea.  Your done with a meeting, you need a tool that you can use to think through and recap that meeting so you can improve.  So you can continue to learn.  So you can overcome the obstacles and the objections you're facing.  So you can take all the sales information you bring in through books, blogs, training, and podcasts and finally have a framework to know when to use them to change your life.

It's easy to get for free.  Simply text the keyword THOUGHTLIST to number 44222.  You will get a response back asking for your email.  If you put your email address in, I will send the Thought-List to you automatically, so you can continue to take the ideas I've given you today, as well as other ideas from other Windshield Wisdom's, and apply them to your business.  It takes an extraordinary person to take this information and just go do it.  So please take this free tool, and let it help you be successful.  If for some reason it doesn't come within a few minutes, don't forget to check your spam folder.  Sometimes this stuff get's filtered out, otherwise let me know if it doesn't get there.

I would love to hear your feedback about the Thought-List as well as the information in today's Windshield Wisdom.  Facebook...Sales Math.  Linked In...Matt Middendorp.  You can always call me at (715) 897-0879, or email at [email protected]

In the meantime, I can't wait to talk to you again next week.

Go!  Make sales.  Be happy.  Be successful.

Matt Middendorp is a nationally acclaimed speaker and sales coach with over 20 years of experience turning connections into customers and advocates.  In 2013, Matt founded Sales Math, and debuted his “Formula for Success” sales training system to bankers across the country.  From the beginning, Matt’s clients have experienced learning that is fun, meaningful, and makes a difference in the real world.  Today, Matt’s core philosophies of “Learn Together, Do Together, Grow Together” are taught through in-person coaching, online as part of the Cool Bankers Academy, and by his leadership of the Cool Bankers Club Facebook Group.  His clients are making millions based on the confidence and skills gained from learning a sales process tailored to their individual personalities and businesses.  For information about training and workshops visit, call (715) 897-0879, or email Matt personally at [email protected]


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