Back to Posts

9 Sales Tips for Getting More Referrals

4 min read
Updated Oct. 18, 2023
Published Nov. 27, 2012

Referrals are the golden ticket to B2B sales success. With referred leads, it’s easier to set appointments and have productive business discussions because a level of trust is already established. These sales tips will help increase pipeline flow.

Of course, there are thousands of articles, blogs, and books on this topic but the bottom line is this:

Constantly generating sales referrals is tough.

So we’ve put together our top sales tips to get more referrals. We’re leaving off the obviously required qualities (great product, excellent support, honest & trustworthy) and diving deeper into the specifics.

Let’s go…

#1. Continuously drip market referrals

If referrals are important to you, they need to become part of your culture. You don’t always need to be asking for referrals but you do want to associate yourself with the culture of referred leads. Talk about them on the phone, through email, social, during demos, etc. Outwardly communicate the value of referrals and you’ll find they come to you more often.

#2. Just ask for introductions, not new businesses

Don’t make it sound so official & formal. Just ask people for recommendations of others who fit your ideal buyer profile. “Hey John, we’ve got a killer new feature coming out that does X & Y. Which other marketing execs do you think would find this interesting?”

#3. Give before you get

Be that person – the referral giver. It’s not just karma, it’s reality. Referral givers are more enjoyable to associate with and leave the impression of the referral culture on those whom they come in contact with. Plus it makes life more enjoyable when you’re helping others.

#4. Make it super easy

Do the work for your referrer and send a forward-able introduction. If you make it super easy for your contact to introduce you to someone else, they will do it quicker and with a higher level of frequency.

#5. Use timing to your advantage

Always be on the lookout for the best times to ask for a referral. Did you just get praised via an email? Did somebody just write an awesome tweet or LinkedIn update about your service? If so, that’s a perfect time to ask them for an introduction to somebody who fits your customer profile. Which brings us to #6…

#6. Know your customer profile

Do you sell to CFO’s of publicly traded companies? VP’s of Sales for software companies? You’ll need to know precisely who you are looking for in order to not waste effort in referral generation.

#7. Have your script down cold

Find yourself at a networking event or trade-show and you don’t know where to take the conversation? Always have a go-to line. For example: “We’ve had a lot of success helping software companies improve their sales cycles by providing more prospect information. Who do you know who works on the revenue side of a software company?” 

Have specific scripts for clients, partners, vendors, etc. to make the process of asking for referrals easier.

#8. Get to the right partners

Be intentional about this. Find other vendors who share mutual prospect profiles and have the same “give first” attitude. 1 great partner is better than 5 mediocre.

(Expert tip: use LinkedIn to find connections to the people you deal with, then ask them specifically: “I see you’re connected with Mary Smith, how well do you know her? Would you be willing to make an introduction?” or “I noticed you’re a member of the CFO executive roundtable…who else in that group should I get to know?” 

#9. Create solid thought leadership content

Become a thought leader and others will want to share your message. Write an amazing blog post that helps your audience. Share it online and ask others to share it. If you can become known for helping people through your content, then they will send people you’re way for your products and solutions.

Want to learn more about how to be successful in an account executive role? Download the free eBook:account executive success