The toughest part of selling for most people is getting the new business you need to hit your sales goal. But how do you get a meeting with a new prospect? Should you cold call, send an email, leave a voicemail, request a LinkedIn connection, mail a notecard/letter/literature, attend networking events, go to association meetings? There are many ways to get your foot in the door. But did you know that decision makers will agree to meet with you if you have an introduction from someone they know? Without exception, all of the decision makers we talked to agreed, because it helps to give the sales person some instant credibility and familiarity with the prospect.
So make referral selling part of your weekly activities. And don’t just ask for a referral, because if you simply ask for the name of someone and then reach out to them, it’s a cold call. Ask for an introduction. That is, politely ask your referral source to send an email introduction and copy you on it. It should read something like this:
I’d like to introduce you to Linda Kern. Linda has her own sales training and coaching business and was chosen to work with two of our sales teams to teach them how to get appointments with new companies. We established new business revenue targets for each sales professional over a six-month period and exceeded these targets to enable us to receive our ROI for the program. Without Linda’s guidance, we would not have secured the new revenue that was realized.
I strongly suggest that you have an initial discussion with Linda to see how she might be able to help your sales people. I will leave it up to Linda to reach out to you as a next step.
One of my clients actually sent this email out to his colleague on my behalf, and it worked. I got the meeting, and quickly leveraged that meeting into a sale!
So take some time right now to plan your referral strategy. Make sure you set a goal for how many referrals you’d like to ask for each week. What types of companies and decision makers would you like to be introduced to? How do you help your clients now, so that your referral source knows the impact you have on companies (this usually includes some sort of metrics around cost savings, efficiencies gained, or revenue added)? And finally, make a list of everyone in your network you could ask for a referral introduction. As always, if you need help just ask – we’re here for you.