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Social Selling Advice: The Best Way To Get Referral Introductions On LinkedIn


When it comes to social selling, the key to success is to embrace as many warm introductions as possible. For B2B salespeople, LinkedIn is usually the best choice to get quality referral introductions.

Asking your contacts for a referral is easy, but there are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to the best way to go about it, especially if you want them to say, “Yes!” Here are four great tips to increase your odds.

  1. Work hard to earn referrals: Don’t assume that people will blindly say “yes” when you ask them for a referral. Most people accurately view a referral as an endorsement, and that’s not something to take too lightly. You should plan to “earn” the endorsement. Never demand a referral from someone and avoid asking the same person for referrals repeatedly.  

  2. Tell people what you’re up to: You’ll be much more likely to score a referral if you tell your contact why you’re asking for it. Studies have shown that if you ask people if you can cut in line at a grocery store check-out and you provide them a reason, you’re five times more likely to be successful. The point is this: Tell people why you want to connect with their colleagues and what kind of value you’ll give them and how it will pay off. 

  3. Give referrals to others and tell people what you can do for them: When you approach someone for a referral, it’s also a good idea to be prepared to offer them an introduction as well. “I noticed so-and-so is in your network, I’d love to meet them. And I know Bob, who’d be great for your service; I can introduce him to you.” This isn’t a tit-for-tat kind of thing; it’s about giving more than you’re getting. 

  4. After you get the referral, be thankful: Again, this is some common sense advice, but it’s important. If a contact does give you a referral, be courteous enough to send a thank-you email. There isn’t any need to give physical gifts, unless the connection provides some kind of phenomenal results. Gratitude goes a long way.

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): Social selling isn’t possible without help from other people. You absolutely need to get referral introductions from your LinkedIn contacts. Remember to be specific in what you’re asking for and avoid asking the same person repeatedly. Really, it’s common sense. Be reciprocal and polite. Take some time to give a little. Besides, it’s human nature to want to help those who’ve helped you.

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