We have previously discussed times you should always ask for a referral (see “Don’t Be Afraid to Ask”). Today, let’s discuss why it’s important that you follow up immediately – not only to thank them, but also to find out why they gave you a referral. You might think that it sounds self-deprecating or overly modest to ask “Why?” Actually, it’s not. You want to know which aspects of your sales delivery mechanism impressed that person enough for them to want to refer you.
Your client may say, “Oh, you were Johnny on the spot. You got to my request quickly, and I actually have a friend who could really benefit from your service right away. You've got to call him today.” Or, they may say, “What I really liked about your approach is that you were really patient with me. Even though it took us six months to decide, you were there every step of the way.” Or, “You were the only company that had both this and that.”
Now you know going into it how you’ve been praised by the person who referred you, and you can highlight those attributes when you actually get in touch with referral. It tells you what they most value about your business at that point in time. It is invaluable information to have in hand before calling the referral, so don’t be afraid to ask (right after you say, “Thank you!”).