Jim was taught by the old-school sales trainers that he had to make 25 cold calls per day in order to be successful. For years, he banged his head against the wall making dials that rarely converted. Then Jim came to my sales training program in Boston, and never made a single cold call ever again.
He replaced all that painful effort of making ineffective cold calls with a referral system. What is a referral system, you ask?
Well, let’s start by discussing what a referral system is not. A referral system does not include occasionally asking clients, prospects and others in one’s network for referrals. It does not include accepting weak “Call-This-Person-And-Use-My-Name” referrals.
Nope. Instead, a referral system focuses on three key components:
1) Introductions-Only: A sales person with a great referral system doesn’t even ask for “referrals.” She asks for introductions. Anything short of person A introducing us to person B is not acceptable. The likelihood of closing a strong introduction is over five times greater than the likelihood of closing a weak “Call-This-Person-And-Use-My-Name” referral.
2) Get Accountable: Sales people with referral systems hold themselves accountable to asking for a certain number of introductions each day or week. For example, Jim does not allow himself to go home at the end of the day without asking for at least one introduction that day. Doesn’t sound like much, but one introduction each day is 250 each year!
3) Reward Your Champions: Ever met that person who introduces you to just about everyone? That person is called your champion because he is literally championing you around. Love, cherish and reward this person. Find out what these people want, and spoil them. For example, Jim’s champion loves a great steak, so Jim sends his champion gift certificates to Morton’s. Sound extreme? Just think of what you’d pay in commission to an outside salesperson for lining up a sale. Dinner at Morton’s is chump change.
How do you get more referrals and introductions? Please share below.
Written by Marc Wayshak, author of the book Game Plan Selling. which shares the sales system developed through his sales training in Boston.