Do you ask a new prospect for a referral on the first appointment? Do you wait until the second appointment? Do you wait a year into the relationship? The answer is, "It depends." There are at least two things to consider when determining when to ask. First, value must be given and value must be recognized. Second, you must consider the personality of referral-giving candidate.
Value Given and Value Recognized. Sometimes it's easy to know this has occurred, because your prospects or clients will tell you. They'll say things like "this has been a very helpful meeting" or "I'm glad I finally started working on this." Sometimes you have to ask with simple questions like, "Has this meeting been helpful?" "Have you found this planning process helpful?" Can you provide value on the first appointment with a prospect? Absolutely! In fact, I hope you are. One could make the case that if value hasn't been recognized, then it hasn't been delivered. Your prospects' and clients' perspective is their reality. Whatever your prospect's or client's perspective is, it's the truth to them and you need to honor it and use it as your starting point..
Open Versus Self-Contained. This is one measure of personality we need to consider when asking for referrals. Open people are much more willing to let you into their lives through the referral process than self-contained people. Therefore, you can (and should) ask open people sooner into the relationship. Contained people can be great source of referrals , they just need a little more time to trust you. Plus, they like to be in more control of the process than the open types. Ask value-measuring questions. If value has been delivered and recognized, and you feel the referral candidate likes you and trusts you - it's time to ask for referrals.
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