Asking for a Referral: The Best Time to Ask


Sometimes, it seems like salespeople are more comfortable cold calling than asking for a referral.

What I have learned is that salespeople, and often all humans, create false belief systems, such as the one mentioned above. The reason is fear.

And that fear is often not wanting to sound “needy” or weak. And sometimes, that fear is driven by the concern that the customer may tell you they have buyer’s remorse, are unhappy, and want a refund.

Now hear’s the thing. Unless you have evidence of this, it is just your mind playing tricks on you. If your customer is unhappy, believe me, they will let you know or your customer success team knows, and sometimes the Twitterverse knows. 

Now what it all boils down to is timing. So when is the right time to ask for a referral?

We believe it is within 30-45 days. While they may not be fully ramped, and yes, it’s fully possible they may be frustrated by something, it’s a great time to ask. Often, the response will be “we haven’t used it enough”, which is a great response. This now opens the door for you to say, “Great, can I call you back on ______ to get your feedback and see about a referral?”.

Another time to ask is after the renewal. If they’ve renewed, they should be able to provide, not only positive feedback, but perhaps someone else who can benefit as well. 

So here’s the challenge. Ask for one referral each week for the next four weeks. See what happens. We are pretty sure you and the world will not end and your company will not go bankrupt.

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