Your clients are your absolute best source of new business. With them, you have already earned the right to ask for referrals. They know you and have witnessed the ROI your solution generates. Continue to stay in touch with them and to tap into their networks. But don’t stop there …
Who’s next on your list of Referral Sources? Other salespeople.
An Unexpected Referral Source
Salespeople know and understand each other. We are the heartbeat of our companies. It’s our job to bring in business. We’ve got good instincts, and we size people up quickly. We’re creative, imaginative, resourceful, and demanding—all because we want what’s best for our customers.
We’re always looking for more business and for any opportunity to reach and surpass our quotas. We’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. We have similar goals and interesting war stories. And we’re willing to help each other if at all possible.
This is why other salespeople are great Referral Sources.
Colleagues and Co-Workers
So where do you start? Consider who you know in the following categories:
- Salespeople outside of your company in aligned fields.
For example, if your company provides data-storage-management systems for large enterprises, you want to develop cooperative relationships with salespeople at computer hardware companies and software businesses that develop storage tools, database software, or systems integrators.
Having such relationships in place can help you better address your clients’ needs, and sales colleagues at these companies become important Referral Sources.
- Salespeople within your company.
Your co-workers know people in the companies you target. They can be great resources for industry knowledge and sounding boards for account strategies.
One industry leader I know provides strong incentives for salespeople to refer. If a referral results in a sale, the referring salesperson earns a commission. This company has created a culture that not only supports referrals, but one where people look for opportunities to refer business to their colleagues.
- Salespeople you know in any field … anywhere.
Contact salespeople you know. Find out what’s new, what trends they’re noticing, and what challenges they face. Ask them to tell you about sales situations where they knocked the socks off their competition and landed a great new client. Ask how you can help each other.
Referrals are the ultimate win/win situation. And no one knows that better than other salespeople. So start building a referral network with your co-workers and colleagues. That way, you’ll all meet quota, and your clients will receive the best possible service. What could be better?
Who are your most valuable Referral Sources? Share a story of a time when another salesperson (or someone else from your network) provided a referral that landed you a big sale.