SSA#16: Asking For Referrals

🤝 Asking For Referrals

Happy Tuesday to 9,182 SaaS sales professionals!

Today I am giving you a simple, yet effective strategy for referrals.

Referrals and warm introductions will be a must-have strategy in your prospecting tool box to succeed in 2024. Let's go!👇

In last week's SaaS Sales Academy Office Hour, our member Tamas asked
a smart question about referrals. We had an engaged 25-min 1:1 discussion around this topic.

Why Should I Care About Referrals?

6 reasons why:

  • 92% of buyers trust referrals from other buyers they know.
  • 84% of buyers kick off their buying process with a referral.
  • Sales reps using referrals make 4-5x more commissions.
  • 73% of execs prefer to work with referred sales reps.
  • Companies with referral programs grow 86% faster.
  • The CLV of referred customers is 16% higher

Referrals have always been a favorite strategy of top performing reps.

However, they used to be an advanced tactic. A nice-to-have. A bonus.

Not anymore. Referrals are becoming a non-negotiable strategy necessary to hit your quota in 2024.

(Remember that from Feb 1st Google & Yahoo will suspend your email domain if more than 3 out of 1,000 emails sent are marked as spam by prospects. Other email providers will follow suit, no doubt.)


Who To Ask For Referrals?

There are 3 groups of people you can ask for referrals & warm introductions (in order of importance):

  • customers
  • prospects
  • other stakeholders

Customers who are happy with your product or service will give referrals. If not, there's something wrong. Perhaps you don't have a good relationship with them, or they'll likely churn upon renewal.

Customers are the best people to ask for referrals because they know your solution and the value it delivers.

It makes sense to ask prospects for warm introductions if they are not the best person to speak to, or you disqualify them. More on this later.

Other stakeholders include implementation partners, channel partners or your personal & professional network.


When To Ask For Referrals?

You should touch base with any of your existing customers at least once a quarter. Use this as an opportunity to ask for a referral.

If you do not have a regular touchpoint, use this an excuse to call them.

You can use this message template:

(customer name), are there any (job title) in your network working at (target company profile) who have faced a similar challenge regarding (problem your solution addresses) and who could benefit from our products & services as well?


To prospects and other stakeholders your solution might be still unknown. So we have to overcome this lack of familiarity with a slightly different approach.


How To Ask For Referrals?

Here's a simple step-by-step approach:

  1. Validate the relationship
  2. Ask for the introduction
  3. Pre-write the message
  4. Follow up


1)Validate the relationship

Before you reach out to any prospect on LinkedIn, check for mutual connections. Mutual connections can ALWAYS be an opportunity for warm introductions.

However, being connected on LinkedIn alone doesn't mean much. You must understand the nature of their relationship.

  • Are they past co-workers? Great opportunity for a warm intro.
  • Did they go to college together? That's an okay opportunity.
  • Are they randomly connected? Probably not worth an intro.
Message template:

"Hey (referrer name), I'm trying to reach out to (target prospect name). I saw you guys are connected on LinkedIn. I'm curious, what's the nature of your relationship?"


2) Ask for the introduction

The number 1 rule for referrals: make the referring person look good.

The last thing they want to do is introduce a sleazy salesperson to their friend that has little value to offer: "Remember that intro you gave me? Man, that was a waste of my time, dude." No bueno.

Therefore, position the value when asking for an intro:

Message template:

I believe I am something of value to offer to (target prospect name) regarding (business challenge you help solve). Would you be against making a brief introduction?


3) Pre-write the message for them

The last thing you want to do is create extra work for the referrer. Make it as easy as possible for them to make the introduction. Pre-write the message for them so all they have to do is copy & paste it and send it.

Another added benefit: you can control the messaging and frame the value from the right angle.

Message template:

Hey (target prospect name), this is (referrer name) from (context how they know each other). I was just approached by (your name) who specialises in (your value proposition). I know you are currently (insert research insight) so I thought it makes sense to introduce you guys."


4) Follow Up

Referrals are not a guarantee for a response! Just like any other prospecting strategy, it requires following up. Over and over.

Check in softly with the referrer a couple days later:

Did you hear back?


That's it! Now you have my full referral system.

It's simple - but it will only work if you execute on it consistently. The results will compound over time.

Thank me in 2024 after it saved your quota! :)



Want to work with me to achieve your 2024 quota and beyond?👇





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SSA#35: SPIN Your Discovery

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Christian Krause

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