Sick of cold calls? Door knocking? Chasing unqualified internet leads? I’m always surprised to hear from sales professionals that they hate these prospecting methods but are still spending time on them. While there are so many strategies for building a client list, none are as effective referral selling.
Referral selling is when you leverage your client list and professional network to acquire new clients. It’s basing your sales funnel on relationships, instead of increasing advertising budgets. Referral selling has the ability to drastically improve your closing ratio – a referred client is 4X more likely to close – but it does require a few prerequisites. So if you’re ready to increase referrals, here’s our advice on adopting a referral selling mentality.
If you want to increase referrals, the first step is providing an awesome client experience.
2. Make Referrals a Priority
Think of referrals as a constant business development strategy – not a one-time sales tactic. Developing networking and relationship skills should be center to your sales training.
3. Get Infrastructure in Place
Like any sales or marketing effort, you’ll need the infrastructure in place to be successful. Have a simple, easy to use method for tracking referrals and keeping in contact with your referral network. Start tracking metrics – like new referrals, time to close, and average number of referrals received.
4. Reach Out
Start networking with clients and professional connections. Attend networking events, send newsletters to past & current clients, stay involved with your large accounts, and follow up with contacts that that have sent you referrals in the past.
5. Overcome Fear
So often sales professionals don’t ask for referrals because we’re afraid of rejection. Getting over this fear is fundamental to increasing referrals. Realize that most clients are comfortable making a referral – and if you’ve perfected #1, you have nothing to to worry about.