Whether you love them or loathe them, when it comes to advertising your business, referrals play a vital role in any successful inbound marketing strategy. The truth is, there’s no better way to build your business than through referrals. However, the process of sourcing referrals needs to be executed in a resourceful and systematic way. Start with a smart approach, otherwise, you might end up dreading the whole process.
So many salespeople continue to gamble with outdated methods and hit or miss strategies that don’t generate the desired results. It is no surprise that the thought of drumming up new referrals often inspires dread. This very necessary advertisement tactic doesn’t have to feel like punishment. The best referrals can skyrocket your sales in very little time.
Try implementing the following referral strategies in a systematic way, as part of your sales and marketing approach. You could potentially earn double or more in sales within just a year.
Change Your Approach
It may sound odd, but asking for referrals isn’t the best way to increase your pool. Some of your customers might be unsure of what the term means exactly. They might think you are asking for references, or just assume you want contact information. What you are really seeking is a personal introduction. Why not be direct and ask for exactly what you need?
By eliminating the referral jargon, and focusing on gaining new introductions you will see bigger successes more quickly. Use this simple strategy the next time you are on the hunt. There will no longer be any confusion as to exactly what type of lead you are seeking.
Rid Yourself of All Fears
If you feel awkward asking your friends and clients for introductions, that is not uncommon. Many salespeople resist the idea of opening a conversation in such an unusual and unconventional way. The best way to squash this fear is to simply jump in and ask the question. Remember, you won’t lose anything by asking someone for an introduction, but you might lose valuable business by never asking at all.
With this concept in mind, put all fears aside and start changing how you do things and snag some fresh introductions. You will soon thank yourself and in no time, it will become second nature.
Send Out a Request for Help
Phrase your request for introductions as a solicitation for assistance. People like to be helpful, especially to those they know and like. Start off by saying something like this, “Would you mind helping me with something?” You will be setting the scene for a productive discussion and the other person will be happy to be of help.
Make Use of Your Entire Network
Seek out everyone, not just one group. This is vital when it comes to gathering business referrals. Contact family members, friends, friends or friends, acquaintances, business connections, colleagues, past co-workers, everyone you can think of, they can all provide an avenue to more introductions.
Be Very Specific About What You Are Seeking
Salespeople are often unclear about the types of referrals they need. Typically, the first question they ask is, “who do you know?” “Do you know anyone who would be a good fit?” This puts a burden on the person you are asking for help. A much better method is to be crystal clear about who you are seeking as an ideal introduction.
Give specific examples of the types of leads you want to find. Provide important information such as employment type, job titles, industries, companies, average salaries, education, and any other vital statistics. Allow the person time to consider their network, and which individuals you would like to meet.
Set the Bar at One Introduction Per Day
This may seem like a tremendous amount of work, but how much time and energy is involved in asking someone for an introduction? This task can be accomplished in a matter of minutes, each work day. Set aside 15 minutes in your daily schedule. That equates to five per week, and a whopping 250 annually. Just think about how many successful connections you can make out of that 250 introductions every year.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Don’t just think about finding one introduction every day, make it a concrete plan and stick to it. A lack of accountability is what prevents so many salespeople from gaining a steady flow of referral business. There is no room for flaky behavior in marketing and sales, not if you want to be successful. If you planned to seek five new introductions every week, add the task to your schedule and keep it going. Use a system that somehow holds you accountable for achieving this goal.
To key to success is setting a realistic goal that you can easily maintain. Use a CRM system or an online calendar to track your weekly introductions. Staying on top of this strategy will bring a dramatic boost in sales.
Host Invitation-Only Sales Events for Exclusive Clientele
This marketing strategy is a highly effective method of luring in new prospects. To make it work well for you, make sure the sales event has a very exclusive feel. Bring in only high-end clients and potential leads, and host the affair at a posh venue. By crafting an entertaining atmosphere where both prospects and clients can mingle, you will see that your most loyal customers will naturally do the sales work for you. In this type of setting, real magic takes place.
Sales events also offer a prime opportunity to ask invited guests for introductions to individuals they know who might have something to gain by attending your gathering. You will soon discover that people enjoy getting their colleagues, acquaintances, and friends invited to an otherwise exclusive event. It boosts their egos by making them feel extra special.
Are you a heavy hitting salesperson who already has more referrals than you can reasonably manage? That is highly unlikely. There is always room for improvement and a desire to achieve more. Therefore, don’t hesitate to put these powerful sales strategies into practice and watch your referral numbers multiply.
Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for referrals that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.