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[Missed Connections]: April Referral-Selling Insights

ATT_Sunset_PanoramaHere’s some important information you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month.

Batter up!

Baseball season is in full swing in the U.S.—a sure sign that spring has officially sprung. Spring is also a great time to up your game and perfect the pitches that will get your sales prospects on base.

Baseball season is long. With 162 games per team played over approximately 30 weeks, it’s probably the only sport where you can have a success rate of 30 percent and still be considered a star with a multimillion-dollar contract.

The sales year is even longer, but it flies by quickly. This might only be Q2, but if you’re not keeping your eye on the ball now, your sales pipeline is already in real trouble.

If you’ve let things slide, it’s time to take a look at your referral sales strategy and see how it can boost your batting average and help you deliver a few homeruns. Check out the latest from No More Cold Calling this month:

4 Reasons Your Sales Team Isn’t Getting Referrals

Are you “all in” with referral selling, or just trying it on? Are you telling your team to ask for referrals? Or do you unequivocally believe and trust that you have a referral process in place to drive revenue, save your job, and position your company for sales success? Referrals don’t just happen, at least not at scale. Yes, occasionally a well-served client will mention your company to another buyer, and you’ll magically get a sale. But how often does that really happen? Unless you have a systematic, disciplined program in place to ensure your reps ask for referrals from every single client, your team is leaving money on the table. So what does it take to implement an effective referral program ASAP? (Read more.)

The Ultimate Sales App—No Smartphone Required

Salespeople love their apps. LinkedIn, Twitter, Salesforce, Google+ … I could go on and on. Each of these social apps and online platforms promises a killer feature that will streamline the sales process and make us all rich. (As if!) The only app that’s guaranteed to do all of the above doesn’t require a smartphone, a tablet, or even a computer. Plus, it’s 100-percent free to use by anyone on any platform. That app is referral selling. And its killer feature is you. Your sales success isn’t determined by the number of devices that connect you to the outside world; it’s determined by the number of relationships that connect you to your prospects. (Read more.)

A Tale of Two Personas

This is the best of times, and the most opportunistic of times. To further paraphrase Charles Dickens, this is also an age of both wisdom and foolishness. Salespeople today are wise enough to know the value of relationships—with prospects, clients, and Referral Sources. But far too many of us foolishly waste opportunities to build real connections with people, because we think the rules for relationship-building are different online. And that’s just not true. (Read more.)

[Message to Management]: The Plea of a Struggling Sales Rep

If you’re leading an underperforming sales team, your reps might not be speaking up, but I guarantee they’re secretly pleading for you to help them learn what sales success looks like. Sales execs know that coaching and recognition contribute to performance. But by how much? And how are they supposed to find the time? Most leaders are so busy that the only coaching they have time for is asking reps who they plan to call throughout the week. That’s not coaching. That’s checking in. Most new salespeople receive little training, even less coaching, and no real-world experience. So they “wing it” and fail. (Read more.)

Does the “Women in Tech Problem” Only Exist in Silicon Valley?

If you’d asked tech leaders in Silicon Valley about women in technology 10 years ago (or maybe even five), the response probably would have been, “We know there are some women around here, but I really don’t know who they are.” A lot has changed since then. There are plenty of women in successful Silicon Valley tech jobs, just not so many at the top. When asked about the lack of female entrepreneurs and executives, Silicon Valley experts point to a lack of women with STEM education. That’s a convenient answer, but other cities with large tech companies don’t seem to have the same problem. (Read more.)

Test Your Referral Savvy

I’m conducting a new study on referrals, and I need your help. Please take my 14-question Referral I.Q. Quiz. The questions are mostly “Yes/No,” and it should take less than four minutes to complete. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be bounced over to a results page, where you can see the aggregated answers from everyone who has participated.

Take the Referral I.Q. Quiz now.

My goal is to get a 1,000-person sample, so please invite your network to take the quiz as well. Participation is anonymous, and I promise you won’t be added to any lists. Thanks in advance for your support!

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