There’s an old saying, “You don’t ask, you don’t get.” Our marketing activities support sales efforts, facilitate the sales process, and often stimulate sales. However, at some point you have to be ready to seal the deal, engage in the sales process, and ask that crucial last question—you have to ask for what you want.
Your prospects may not know that you want them as clients. They may not realize you are seeking referrals. Before making a phone call, heading to a meeting, or attending a networking event, ask yourself what you want. It is not enough to educate, inform, and entertain your prospects; be sure to clearly and confidently ask the potential client in front of you for what you want—the sale, a meeting, a referral.
Who else should I be talking to? In every sales meeting, or any meeting for that matter, you can always ask, “Who else should I be talking to?” This is a great question to use when asking for referrals or when seeking out others for informational meetings. It is even more effective when the person you are asking is your ideal client! Thank your clients for working with you, let them know they are appreciated, and ask if any of their colleagues, friends, or family can use your services. Follow up the referral with a thank you card with a personal note and a small gift, for example, a gift card or flowers.