When is the right time to ask for referrals?

by Contributor31 Jan 2018
I was on a conference call recently with several of our coaches, and we were discussing the concept of asking for referrals. One of our coaches brought up the fact that most salespeople wait until the transaction is complete before asking for a referral.

It struck me how true that was and how little this practice is questioned. I can understand the logic that most salespeople want to wait until they have fully delivered on their service before asking their clients to generously give the names of friends and family who might be buying or selling. As Jim Rohn so eloquently (and wisely) says: “Giving starts the receiving process.”

But from the moment you take a listing or begin working with a buyer, you’re already demonstrating your value and, hopefully, differentiating yourself with great service. (You are doing that, right?) Why not gracefully point out your efforts and use the opportunity to ask your clients to recommend you?

Another reason to ask for a referral near the beginning of a relationship is that this is when your client is likely the happiest. They’ve just put their house on the market or have begun seeing potential homes to buy, and they’re excited and hopeful. It’s the honeymoon!

As time goes by, they may not get as much money as they hoped or get the closing date they needed, or it might take longer than they wanted. A lot of factors, many outside of your control, could potentially dampen their spirits and downgrade the experience.
Even those clients who will readily admit that you did a great job might lack the enthusiasm they once had merely because the buying or selling process took the wind out of their sails.

So first and foremost, ask for referrals. We all must learn to ask people for referrals, but I think it also behooves us to think about the best time(s) to have that conversation, instead of mindlessly slipping the request in with your closing gift.

Maybe it won’t always be appropriate to ask early on in the relationship, but maybe it will. You never know until you try.

Richard Robbins is the CEO of Richard Robbins International, Canada’s foremost real estate sales training and coaching organization. For more information about Richard Robbins or to attend an upcoming free training event, visit richardrobbins.com or call 800-298-9587.

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