Reviews and referrals are powerful drivers of new leads and sales. So why do so many salespeople forget to make them part of the process?
Here’s how it usually goes: you close a deal, it has been weeks or usually months in the making; it’s such a relief! Another closed deal means you’re one step closer to hitting target. Great, so now you move onto the next one.
Right there, you’ve missed two opportunities to get more deals into the pipeline. And that isn’t the only opportunity. Now, these don’t need to be time consuming steps, but taking them would make it easier for you to hit target more easily. Here are three ways to automatically build referrals and reviews into the sales pipeline.
#1: Automatically ask
It really is that simple.
Only you can gauge if and when is a suitable time to ask. But in most cases, after a deal has closed, this is the perfect opportunity to ask for a referral. Not necessarily straight away. Now you’ve completed the selling process, it usually falls on other members of your team to deliver the product/service a client is paying for.
So only ask when you know they’re happy with what they’ve bought.
Look at the delivery schedule: Put a suitable moment in your calendar a few weeks or months - without leaving it too long - down the road for you to check-in with the client. Make sure they’re happy. Help to resolve any issues. If you are also account managing this client, then more frequent check-ins are part of what you do. So a suitable moment might present itself sooner rather than later.
Make sure they’re happy with everything, then take the time to ask for a referral or positive review/reference, or both. Asking for one is a great gateway for the other.
#2: Embed reviews into emails
Not every company automatically asks for reviews.
And yet, countless studies show that online reviews increase social proof, brand awareness and therefore inbound sales pipelines.
Asking for a review could potentially override a clients desire to send referrals your way. To reduce the risk of this, make it easy to automatically ask for reviews. Either ask for one only after you’ve already been sent referrals, or automatically embed a link to a platform, such as Trustpilot, into your email footer. This way, any client can write a review whenever they want without you needing to ask them.
#3: Got a No? Ask for a referral
Not every sales lead is a potential client.
But this doesn’t mean that they might not know other suitable clients. Chances are, someone in their network might need your services/products. So use every interaction as an opportunity to politely ask for referrals, and for you to offer the same for people and companies that you encounter. Always pass it forward.
If a call or meeting ends with you finding a lead isn’t suitable, use that time to ask. A no isn’t always a no and a cold lead could result in warmer ones down the road. It never hurts to ask.
Building referrals and reviews into your pipeline really is that simple and powerful:
- Always take an opportunity to ask;
- Make reviews automatic;
- A “no” from a sales lead isn’t always the end of the road.