At many of my Sales Master Classes and keynote presentations I will ask the audience the following questions:
1. By way of a show of hands, who agrees that referrals are the easiest to do business with, the most profitable to do business with and most likely to refer you on to others?
Almost every hand is raised.
2. Again by way of a show of hands, how many of you have a systematic approach to obtaining referrals?
No more than one in a hundred hands are raised.
3. And finally, how many of you are getting at least 80% of your business from referrals.
Rarely is a hand every raised.
A few thoughts and comments:
I find it very strange that if everyone agrees that referrals are the easiest people to do business with, the most profitable and most likely to refer them to others, that they would not have a systematic approach to obtaining them.
When I ask people why they do not get at least 80% of their business from referrals, the most frequent responses are:
I am scared / nervous to ask
I don’t know how to ask effectively
I don’t want to seem like I am desperate for business
It feels like I am begging for business
If I do a great job, I hope they will automatically refer me. [And of course that rarely happens].
So is it really possible to get 80% or more of your business just from referrals?
It most certainly is! As an example, take Jim. I have been doing some one to one coaching via Skype with Jim for a few months. Jim is the sales director of a large company based in the midlands who is responsible for a team of salespeople and for key account sales himself. When I first started coaching Jim, very little of his new business was coming from referrals and the reasons he gave for this were precisely those stated above.
Three months later, more than 80% of his business IS coming from referrals. He has reduced his prospecting time by over 75 per cent, has increased sales from new business by 63 per cent in just three months and is now teaching my methods to his sales team who are starting to generate a significant number of referrals too.
Would you like to achieve similar results?
The bad news is that I do not have any more availability for one to one coaching this year, although you could book me for an early start in 2013. The good news is that everything I have taught Jim – and a great deal more, is covered in detail in my recently published book Winning Sales Rferrals – a step by step process for winning all the sales you could ever want, just from referrals.
The hardback version is available from the publishers here: http://goo.gl/FWG1K
It is also available for download from the Apple iBookstore.
OR – you could set aside a few hours, call all your existing customers or clients and use this script:
Hello (name). How are you (etc.). The reason I’m calling is because I would appreciate your help with something please. As I hope you know, I like to spend my time looking after my clients and not looking for them, and I also have a responsibility to generate new business. So I’d really appreciate your help please. Who else can you think of who might also benefit from an exploratory meeting or conversation with me. Can we take a few minutes to brainstorm this please? (silent close).
Will you do that?
If you do, will you please drop me an email and let me know how you got on.