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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, sales professionals are showing the love in full-force, showering their prospects with warm-calls & follow-up emails to secure those first-base meetings. But what if I told you that the sweetest Valentine you could get would come from picking up the phone & calling someone you already know (and who reciprocates the love!)? That’s right, I’m talking about referrals!

I’ll admit, asking for a referral can feel as nerve wracking as asking for a date! At first, I was hesitant to ask clients for referrals because I felt it was asking for a favour. I quickly found out after overcoming the jitters, that not only is it a lot less daunting than it may seem, but most people are genuinely happy to provide a referral (bonus points if you can reciprocate!).

Over the past few years, I’ve made a concerted effort to ask my clients for referrals, and after completing our yearly analysis, the true impact of those efforts were apparent; over 80% of our new business was sourced from referrals!

Still have cold feet about asking for referrals? Consider the facts:

  • People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend or colleague.
  • 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral.
  • The lifetime value for new referral customers is 16% higher than non-referrals.
  • 87% of frontline salespeople, 82% of sales leaders, and 78% of marketers agree that referrals are the best leads your business can get.
  • 69% of B2B frontline salespeople, 70% of sales leaders, and 67% of marketers believe that referred leads close faster than other leads.


From the referred prospect’s perspective:

  • 73% of B2B buyers prefer to work with sales professionals who have been referred to them by someone they know.
  • 76% of B2B executives prefer to work with vendors recommended by someone they know.
  • Having a personal connection with a buyer, such as through peer recommendation or referrals, makes you 4.2 times more likely to get an appointment.
  • B2B buyers are 5 times more likely to engage when someone else introduces them to your company.


Now that the importance of referrals is crystal clear, it’s time to start developing your referral strategy.

Don’t let a valuable referral be the one that got away! Keep in mind the following traits that sellers need to have to capture and maintain a buyer’s attention:

  • Healthy respect for their time; it’s valuable to them and should be to you.
  • Ability to lead meetings in an organized and concise manner.
  • Tenacity.
  • A genuine interest in building relationships with their clients.
  • Integrity.
  • The insights to ask thought-provoking questions that show an understanding of the prospect’s business.

Be strategic, be proactive, and be brave when asking for referrals to secure more new business and build a strong pipeline in 2024 – because referrals truly are the sweetest Valentine you can get!