[Missed Connections]: August Referral Selling Insights

DreamforceTradeshowHere’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month.

Oh, how I love summer! I usually wish it could go on forever and I’m always sad to see it go. But this year I can’t wait for September, when I’ll have the opportunity to attend and speak at Dreamforce ‘15.

Dreamforce—Salesforce’s biggest event of the year—is always an amazing place to learn, meet prospects and clients, and get energized for Q4. But this year is even more spectacular! For the first time ever, Dreamforce will feature two sessions for women in sales. (#WomenSellDF15)

I’ll be presenting “Big Deals and High Heels: Why Women Are Naturals at Selling,” along with Barry Trailer, managing partner of CSO Insights. And I’ll be sure to catch “The Payoff for More Women in Sales”—where a panel of leading sales pros will discuss the ROI of gender diversity on sales teams.

If you’re attending Dreamforce, I’d love to meet you. (Click here to register for my session.) If you can’t make it to San Francisco for the big event, stay tuned to the No More Cold Calling blog next month. All September posts will focus on women in sales.

In the meantime, learn more about referral selling in this month’s posts:

Don’t Confuse “Target Market” with “Ideal Client”

It’s not marketing’s job to identify and nurture your ideal clients, or to convert them into qualified prospects. Your marketing colleagues can certainly help. They have already identified the company’s target markets, which is half the battle. But within that targeted group is a smaller, much more important group—your ideal clients. Identifying and communicating with them is your job. Top salespeople take responsibility for defining, finding, and nurturing their ideal clients. (Read more.)

[Note to the Sales Manager] Why Your Sales Reps Can’t Close

How often have you heard leaders say, “My salespeople can’t close”? If you’re a sales manager, you’ve probably even said it. But failing to close is never the real problem. Never. That’s just the symptom. The problem is that salespeople neglect important activities during early stages of the sales process. Unless you address the broken links in your prospecting system, your sales reps will continue to struggle. It’s like back pain. You can stretch and put heat on an aching back, but unless you treat the source of the pain, your back will continue to hurt. (Read more.)

Why the Best Sales Techniques Won’t Win You Clients (Here’s What Will)

Salespeople are asking the wrong questions: “What are the best sales techniques? What tech tools will help me generate hot leads and land new clients?” It’s not what will help you win clients; it’s who. The answer is you. Yes, you are the very best tool in your sales toolkit. You know how to have conversations and build relationships—the most important ingredients for sales success. Technology can aid the sales process, but it can’t make real human connections. That’s the job of salespeople. (Read more.)

Does “Call Reluctance” Prevent You from Asking for Referrals?

“I think I’ve told you before that I have a mild-to-moderate case of call reluctance. Even warm opportunities I’m following up on create anxiety.” I was a little surprised to hear this from Sam, a sales and marketing pro with years of experience. In theory, someone who talks to people for a living should be accustomed to it. But Sam isn’t alone. Many salespeople—even sales veterans—still experience call reluctance, especially when asking for referrals. Here’s why and what to do about it. (Read more.)

Don’t Confuse Recommendations with Referral Leads

“Turn 70 percent of your prospects into customers.” That statement got my attention—not just because it sounded too easy, but because I wasn’t sure where the data came from or how accurate it was. Sure, referral leads are top-notch, but they don’t just appear. I dug a little deeper and learned the statistic referred to the Net Promoter Score (NPS)—a tool many companies use to survey clients about whether they would recommend these businesses to others. A high NPS is certainly a good start, but without follow-up, it amounts to nothing but bragging rights. (Read more.)

[Message to Management]: Why Your Top Sales Rep Will Leave You Soon

Max had just given notice, and Melissa was beyond furious. Max was her top sales rep, and Melissa couldn’t afford to lose him, but she’d missed plenty of opportunities to keep him. Melissa had just left him alone to work his magic. She only supported Max “if he asked.” Otherwise she ignored him. Maybe she didn’t know how to coach such a stellar sales rep. Maybe she felt her time was better spent developing team members who were struggling. Either way, by leaving him to find his own path to success, she set him up to walk away. In this month’s guest post, sales effectiveness expert Richard Ruff discusses the real risks of not investing time in top performers. (Read more.)

[Message to Management]: What a Winning Sales Team Does Differently

I’d just closed the last deal I needed to get to Club. The trip that year was to Grand Cayman, and I’d been ready to go since the location was announced. A month later, I was in the balmy Caribbean. On the last night, we had a ceremony to celebrate our successes throughout the year. Everyone received a special acknowledgement and a trophy. I was surprised by how much that recognition meant to me. After all, I’d only done my job, and I was a seasoned sales pro working with a winning sales team, so how much acknowledgment did I really need? Yet, that little award at dinner cemented my loyalty to the company. (Read more.)

Test Your Referral Savvy

I’m conducting a 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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