We all know how valuable referrals are for generating new business. One of the best times to ask for a referral is right after the sale (or once the installation is completed). They bought your product or service, they’re happy with their decision, and you haven’t done anything wrong yet.
They’re more likely to give you a referral if you frame it as a win-win situation: “Jack, I have a question for you. Do you think there’s anybody else in your circle of friends and colleagues who could benefit from <<<>>>?” As you complete the sentence, pay close attention to the wording. You might say, “… who could benefit from having the same sort of enhanced visibility into energy spend that you now have throughout your portfolio?” Focus on the value that caused your customer to buy. Not features. Not benefits. Value. You want to know if anyone else that your customer knows might appreciate the same value. This is no time for haphazard word choice. You don’t want to come across as saying some variant of, “Do you know anyone else who might want to buy some controls from me?”
Asking the question in the manner originally suggested plants the idea in the customer’s mind that they could be of genuine service to a friend by offering them something that they know is worth the investment. They get to prove to other people that they were smart enough to find you and implement your offering. You give them social currency by allowing them to be a hero in the eyes of the person they choose to refer. As much as receiving a referral may benefit you financially, don’t make it about you – make it about them.