The toughest part of selling for most people is getting the new business you need to hit your sales goal. Cold calling, emailing, voicemails, LinkedIn requests, notecards/letters (does anyone send these out anymore?), networking, trade shows, etc. There are many ways to “get in the door.” But did you know that decision makers of all kinds in many different industries will let you in the door if you do this…use an introduction from someone they know! Without exception all of the decision makers we talked to agree, 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 lead two of our sales teams over the past two years to teach them new methods to gain appointments with new customers [what I did]. 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 programs [the results my client achieved]. 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 [the client’s recommendation to the person you want to meet]. She truly has the ability and desire to develop and sharpen the skills of your sales team towards achieving your sales targets.
I will leave it up to Linda to reach out to you as a next step.
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 you would like to be introduced to. How 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. Good luck and happy selling!