There are a number of sales strategies, but it is no secret that selling through referrals is one of the most effective technique to acquire new business. In simple words out a referral is a sales lead that comes from a customer, basically an intermediary. Sales referrals help bridge the gap between the product and the referred product and hence they provide great value to the brand.
Why Referrals? – The Only Leads That Count
If you love sales, stop the time-wasting, irrelevant, unproductive, frustrating prospecting activities you think you should be doing. Stop sorting leads into cold, warm, and hot. There’s only one kind of lead that should be in your pipeline. Only one kind of lead that counts. Only one kind of lead that management cares about. Only one kind of lead you should care about.
That’s hot leads—the kind you source through referrals from trusted allies.
The Returns – The ROI of Referrals
Every seller agrees that referral selling is, hands down, the most effective prospecting strategy. When you prospect through referrals:
- You bypass the gatekeeper and score meetings with decision-makers every time.
- Your prospects are pre-sold on your ability to deliver results.
- You’ve already earned trust and credibility with your prospects.
- You convert prospects into clients at least 50 percent of the time (usually more than 70 percent).
- You land clients who become ideal referral sources for new business.
- You score more new clients from fewer leads (because all of your leads are qualified).
- You ace out your competition.
1. Start a monthly advocate program
Once a year, do a customer genealogy to see who or what was responsible for all the additions to your customer base. Odds are, you’ll find between 5-20 primary referral sources, ranging from current clients to friends, partners and suppliers.
Make an “advocate list” of these active referral sources, and develop a concrete plan to keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
2. Develop a culture of referrals
Another approach that can help you develop a steady stream of referrals is to ask questions that benefit your customer first. One Engage customer doubled her referrals simply by asking the following client-focused question at the end of every client meeting:
“Now… how can I help you?”
The Practice – Referral Selling is Common Sense, but Not Common Practice
The business case for referrals is loud and clear:
- Decision makers will always meet with a referral from someone they know and trust.
- If your competition gets to the decision-maker first, you’re out of the game.
- When you get the referral introduction, you win.
No other sales or marketing strategy delivers such powerful, predictable results. Yet, referrals are the missing link in every company’s business-development strategy.
Ninety-five percent of companies do not have a written referral-selling strategy, written weekly referral goals, referral-selling skills, accountability for results, or a system to track and measure referrals.
It’s time to make referrals the way you sell. Fill your pipeline with only HOT referral prospects, and you’ll never have to worry about hitting your numbers again.