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The Lost Art of Closing

Lesson 14 of 16

How to Ask for Additional Business and Referrals

Anthony Iannarino

The Lost Art of Closing

Anthony Iannarino

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Lesson Info

14. How to Ask for Additional Business and Referrals

Lesson Info

How to Ask for Additional Business and Referrals

How to ask for additional business. This is my favorite thing from sales people in regards to opportunities, they say, what I really want is referrals. I want people to refer people to me. And then they don't have any. And they don't have any because they don't ask for any. They want them to do it, but wanting something, and it happening don't typically line up without you taking some action in between those two things. So you have to do something about it. I'm gonna talk about what you do with that, and I'm gonna give you some ideas. The reason that most people resist referrals at all is because it feels self oriented. I'm asking you to make an introduction to somebody which is basically turn your friend over to me so I can sell them. But they're like, but I like my friends. That's not gonna be a great experience for them, is it? But if we have a good experience there is a way to do this, so I wanna tell you the shortest way to do this is to always be creating new value and then the p...

ositive outcome should give you the right to ask for that referral. So let's talk about new value. The way that you earn the right to ask for a referral is to deliver the results that you promise. So when you deliver those results, that's good, and that gets you to a place where, you promised this, this was delivered that was great. But then to be a value creator, and to be somebody who deserves that referral, you come back in and say, we solved that problem, you're now in good shape, but now I have another thing for us to talk about. I've got something else for us to do together, that's gonna create even greater value for you. And we're gonna leapfrog right over where we are to some place else, and that new value is what gives you the opportunity to say these people are proactive, they are always thinking of us, they are always coming up with the next idea, and that makes asking for the referral so much easier, because you are dealing with their problems before they know they even have them and you continually come back and serve them with new value. So what does your client need to do next? And the first book that I wrote, the only sales guide you'll ever need, minus the two other books, I know you're smiling, I said you have to be proactive, and if your client says jump, what do you say? How high? Don't say it like that, though, that was kinda soft, right? I don't even ask, I just jump as high as I can. That's right, so you don't wait to ask, right? You can't wait until they say jump, you actually have to come in and say I'm already jumping, and here's why, I got something else for us to do together. If they have to be dissatisfied, you aren't a trusted advisor. Like you gotta get hurt, and then when you get hurt, I'll come and patch you up. No the trusted advisor says don't get hurt. First off don't get hurt, let me make sure that you don't make this mistake. So you have to continually go from month to month and quarter to quarter and year to year, creating new value and as long as you think what's the next thing, and what's the next thing, think of it as a roadmap, if you're in software you have a roadmap but, if you're not in software, you can still have a roadmap. I need them to do this, and from there, we'll be able to do this, and from there, they'd be able to do that. And how do you execute this? You do it with a quarterly business review, and you come in and say, here are the five challenges that we had, in your world 52 challenges, right? Or however many challenges there are, and this is what we did about them. These three are still outstanding, and we're working on those right now. This is the score card that we generated for ourselves, we're at 97%, we still have 3% we're working on it. We're not taking that for granted, we want you to know what we're doing on these things. And here's what we need to do next. Here's the next level for us to get to together. And you show them the road map, from here we can now create this value, from here, we can now create that value, and you move people down the road map. It's your job to always know what comes next, and to make sure you're moving people forward in that process, that's what earns you the right to ask for a referral. And you can say things in a very very soft way to open this conversation up, you can just simply say, can I share with you some of the things that we are working on right now that other people are finding super helpful? Yeah I would like to know what those are. Especially in a QBR, people are gonna wanna know what they are, good, now we have a starting point, we are doing this, and here's why, we're doing that, and here's why. And then people start to engage with you ina conversation where you can do something. Those positive outcomes are the key. And the reason that I'm telling you this is because the order we do things matters a great deal. I don't want to wait until I've been serving somebody for two years to come and ask them for a referral, because your weird. It feels weird, two years we've been working together and you show up and I need some leads. (laughs) You got any? And they're like, I don't know. But it's different, if you do it in another way, and you know that you're gonna perform, and so I show up and I say to Dave. Dave, my business works a lot better by word of mouth and referrals. So I wanna ask you this, as we put this in place for you, if it's everything that I say it is, and we generate these massive results that we've talked about, once we've done that, would it be okay if I came back and asked you, for anyone that you know that's within your network, that might benefit from the same thing. Would it be okay if I did that? Sure. Okay now he said yes, I'm doing this very very early in the process. This is the way that I like to do business, with friends and people that know each other. But we don't do that, we wait until the end and until it's awkward and weird instead of just setting it up to say the best way, and honestly Dave I appreciate you doing that, in the meantime I know that you're working on some clients right now, and if I can make an introduction for you, please reach out to me and I'm happy to make that introduction, too. I'm gonna give him reciprocity too. If there's someone in my network that could benefit from what he does, I would like to make that introduction, too. I'm gonna ask both of those questions early on. Now I've delivered for Dave, and Dave is over the moon. Be over the moon Dave. Over the moon. Dave is over the moon, he said it. Who in your network should I be introduced to? And what do you think they need right now that I might be able to help them with? He's thinking of one, so that's enough. His eyes went up into the left, he was trying to access his memory as to who it could be, even though we're in a hypothetical here so he could of said anything, and it would be okay. But that's how you do this, and I don't think we execute it because we don't set the standard at the beginning, we're not having this conversation, and we're not asking for permission to do it. We also have to give them the because. This tends to work well for us because friends of friends tend to have some of the similar problems and you know each other, and it's a really nice hand off when we've created the value for you and they can trust us more, is that okay? I'm asking, I'm asking, you don't always get a yes, and you don't always get a referral. But if you wanna get business that way, that's the starting point, that's the starting point for that. My business mainly grows by word of mouth. You hope that's true, for some of you in the room you're saying my business mainly works by cold calling. That's true unless you start asking for referrals, and then you'll get a little bit better of a ratio there. I want to talk to B2B and B2C both here. Social proof counts for a lot in both. So the fact that you're on LinkedIn, and you have testimonials there, that counts a lot for people when they see that, depending on who gave you that testimonial and for some reason, I still have people that ask me to give them a testimonial although I've never met them or done work with them on LinkedIn, that's like, I don't really know what I should say, because I don't know you and I've never done any business with you. So that's a tough thing to say yes to. But they still ask anyway so, you have to actually have credibility, and you have to have work that someone can refer, and in B2C is true, except the social proof intends to be more online, it tends to be review sites, it tends to be Yelp, Angie's List, it tends to be Upwork, or things like that where you can see these kind of things. And so what you want most of all is for people to give you social proof. So what you ask for in this case, if everything is exactly as I promised, can I ask you to give me a five star review? And you have to ask that question. Can I ask you to give me a five star review. Don't just ask can I ask for a review, because if you do that you might get a review. And it might not be five stars, it might be three stars, and you'll have somebody give you a three stars for a particular reason, nobodies perfect, okay no one's perfect I agree, but you're completely satisfied you're not unhappy with me and you continue to love the service relationship, but I won't give you a five. You have to tell people what you want, but they are looking for social proof. So ask if you're completely satisfied So this is for creators, ask people to give you that proactively. If everything is what I say it will be, would it be okay to come back and ask you for a five star review because this helps me more than anything, and my credibility with the audience that follow my work. And we're back to QnA and then we have a long section. On the review, if you're asking for LinkedIn review sort to speak, and we go into recommendations, obviously they have to then sit there and think, oh what the heck am I going to write. So would you recommend giving them some copy to use, and they change it however you like but something you can start with? Yeah, I think doing that, I asked my friend Jeff Blunt to write the forward to my book, and then I just sent him a note, like here's five bullet points, these are what I like, and he said perfect. So I gave him something to work off of. This is the tone I'm trying to set, and he liked that. And when I wrote the forward to his book, he said, I'm gonna love whatever you write. (laughs) And he did, and I've written the forward for his book, and Mike Wineberg's book, I just continue to say the best part of both of their books, is the forward. (laughs) And now they've written the forward for my books, and they keep saying the best part of Anthony's book is our forwards. But yeah you can give them a hint, on directionally what are people looking for? What kind of credibility are they looking for, what kind of result are they looking for, and if you can hint that this is what people are concerned about, and when people wrote reviews for that book for me, I told them if you write anything, i would appreciate it if you would say this is not a book of old school closing tactics, because my greatest fear was that people were going to look at this book and say, I don't wanna be a schwarmy manipulative, pushy persuasive high pressure sales person. It's not in the book, and as soon as somebody reads it, I can't tell you how many people have said, it's not at all what I thought. But the people that have gone to Amazon and read the reviews knew it wasn't that, and bought it because their friends and their peers had already said it's not that book. And I prompted some people to ask them if they were going to do that. They said can I write a review for you, and I said yes, please say this, because I'm scared people are gonna think something different. I was just gonna say really quickly, on the asking for referrals, one of the main, any of my SDR's, or even myself, if I'm gonna ask an executive of LinkedIn or Microsoft, which we have access to their networks, and on this particular platform of LinkedIn, I will always tell them this is my outcome, this is what I'm trying to drive towards, and it would really help if you could make this introduction because this is where were at, and then if they say sure, I know John, sure, then I go and ghostwrite and I say, and basically it's like social, you put that there, here's my piece and then, I think you would be in good hands connecting. And nine times out of the 10, people will say yeah, I will do that, and you just have to make sure that you do ask for a referral like that internally, or another persons network is to send them a thank you, and give them a follow up because their network sometimes is their net worth and if you don't, and they don't know of the outcome, and they meet them at a dinner party and it gets punched in the face you're like, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get you hit, you know what I mean? Some dinner party these people go to, people are punching each other in the face. Yeah right you don't want anybody to get ambushed. They show up and they don't know anything, that's right.

Class Description

To close or not to close, that is the question: Whether it’s smarter to use pushy tricks for the final ask or forgo the hard sell for a softer approach. For people who work in sales, figuring out the best way to close the deal is a real conundrum.

Best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur Anthony Iannarino has come up with an innovative approach to closing that’s geared toward the new technological and social realities of our time.

Instead of looking at closing as the hardest part of the sales process, Iannarino shows how it can be the easiest. The key is to lead your customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall, including getting them to commit to investing in the process, building consensus and resolving concerns.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify and pursue your dream clients.
  • Call prospective clients without being smarmy, pushy or self-centered.
  • Uncover your prospects’ needs.
  • Present your proposal and solution.
  • Differentiate yourself in a crowded market.
  • Talk about money without fear.
  • Avoid weak language that lacks confidence.
  • Negotiate so you can capture a fair share of the value you create.
  • Ask for more business and referrals.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Anthony Iannarino Presentation

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Debbie Burney

I took an entire work day off to attend this online course. It was so worth it!. I've read Anthony's books, and I've been applying his methods and adopting the mindset of being "other-oriented," and my success is taking off in a big way. Just about everything in this session is in his books in some form, sometimes exactly, but seeing Anthony live and hearing the passion and commitment to practicing what is in the books was exciting, motivating, and sticky. The combination of reading the books, working through the workbooks, reading the blog, and now, seeing it all live is powerful stuff! I highly recommend dedicating a day for this class.

Joanna Avigail Nasierowska

Incredible course, loved it! Thank you, great advice, great understanding of sales process, sharp, quick, easy to understand negotiation & selling process.

Stephen Layman

Anthony Iannarino is an excellent teacher. I have seen the concepts and principles that he teaches ring true in and my experience in B2B sales with large creative projects. For anyone seeking to sharpen their sales technique I would highly recommend this class.