Are you comfortable asking for references to support your business? Or do you have what I call ‘reference resistance?’
Whether it’s ex-customers, ex-colleagues, business partners, or current clients, if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner you need to develop the habit of asking for references (and act on it).
This is because real people have real influence. Gathering and sharing references is important in helping prospects to get to know you. References share real-world experience of what you are like to work with, what you are capable of, the transformation you deliver to the people or businesses you work with, and your expertise.
There’s also a cost associated with not asking for references – this includes damaging your sales, slowing your business success and limiting your own reach.
Asking for references is a great exercise. Even the act of asking for references reinforces the position of strength and expertise that you come from (and is a great step to overcoming reference resistance).
When I speak to clients and entrepreneurs that are resistant to asking for references, I ask them to think – and to be honest with themselves about where their resistance is coming from. Here are some of the types of reference resistanceI frequently hear about asking for references:
- Negative self-thinking (that you aren’t good enough)
- Feeling it’s selfish (or may be taken as an attempt for flattery)
- Worry that the person we ask may refuse and damage an existing sales relationship
- Don’t want to ‘bother’ people
- Not knowing what to say
Want to know how to overcome ‘reference resistance’ then sign up for access to my new worksheet to help you overcome reference resistance.