|October 1, 2021||Comments Closed|
A sales leader had the following conversation with a professional:
Leader – I recommended you try referral marketing to boost your productivity.
Professional – Referral marketing is not a reliable enough system.
Leader – Why not?
Professional – Because if you have a slump for a while and don’t make any sales, you run out of names and you don’t have anyone to ask for referrals.
Leader – But don’t you also ask people who don’t buy from you to refer you to others?
Professional – No, I learned a long time ago that if prospects don’t buy then their referrals are worthless.
Leader – Your problem is quite simple. A long time ago you learned wrong.
An active referral program should be the backbone of any successful new business development system.
Building and maintaining an active referral program enables you to contact excellent prospects who are more receptive to meeting you because of they have a high regard for the person who referred them.
Referral business development is not only one of the best methods, it’s also one the simplest. It provides an endless chain of excellent quality leads with little or no acquisition cost.
Sadly, I’ve observed many firms and professionals who miss new business opportunities because they have been taught to ask for referrals only from existing clients.
In fact, people who do not buy are also a significant source of new business leads.
Non-buyers – people who cannot do business with you because of bad timing, financial issues, or other constraints – are probably happy to refer you to others.
Referral sources fall into three categories: existing clients; non-client referral sources (centres of influence); and non-buyers.
To maximise these referral sources, you need two things: the right attitude and an excellent system.
The right attitude. This involves understanding and fully appreciating your value offering and not having a ‘cap in hand’ mentality when you seek referrals.
An excellent system. You should have a system you know so well that you can follow it without thinking; it should be a part of your normal way of doing business.
To get referrals from non-buyers, follow these 11 steps:
Sell ideas instead of products and services
Do your homework. Before meeting with prospects, search their names, their websites and LinkedIn accounts
In each of the prospect’s networks, find three to five names that fit your ideal profile
If prospects do not go ahead, get them to admit they liked the ideas you presented and, if circumstances permitted, they would definitely have gone ahead
Then explain that most people who see your ideas like them
Finally, point out that even those who don’t go ahead often recommend you to their business associates and peers
Ask prospects for their opinion on the names you’ve found during your preparation
Brainstorm with them and ask their advice, using proposals, application forms and credit applications for sources of names to choose from
Expect common objections and be prepared to respond to them
Look for ways to reciprocate by providing referrals or business leads for them in return
Continue to nurture your non-buyers by sharing your ideas, staying in touch, educating them, and reminding them of your value.
Referral marketing is not only one of the best methods, it is also the simplest and most cost-effective way to generate growth and provide a steady stream of high-quality leads.
Ask your clients for referrals. It is simply good business practice and should be your primary source of new business.
Don’t forget your non-buyers.
Brainstorming, seeking advice, and asking for referrals from people who don’t buy will become a significant fundamental change in your approach, and will accelerate your growth and business performance.