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[Missed Connections]: Referral Selling Insights from November

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canstockphoto20552509Here’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month.

Your sales team has one month left to finish out 2015 with a bang. Are they on track to blow past quota, or still struggling to get cold prospects on the phone? Just as importantly, how strong is your sales pipeline for 2016?

If it’s not full of hot sales leads, they’re clearly not asking for referrals.

Referral selling is the only business-development strategy that converts prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time. That number is based on my own experience and research, but there’s plenty of new data proving that nothing beats referral sales leads for finding and engaging new clients.

For example, OpenView recently published an infographic illustrating the power of referral selling. Just consider the following:

  • B2B buyers are five times more likely to engage with sellers when they are introduced by a trusted source.
  • 73 percent of executives prefer to work with sales professionals referred by someone they know.
  • 84 percent of B2B decision-makers start the buying process with a referral.

Don’t let your team waste time cold calling. Check out my November blog posts and learn how to help them get referrals.

Want Reps to Get Referrals? Make Them Hurry Off Their Asses

“We need to postpone our deal until next quarter.” Yikes! No sales leader wants to hear that. It could wreck the company forecast and commissions. What could reps have done differently? Maybe nothing. Sometimes deals are out of our control. A company gets acquired, the economy tanks, the sales leader quits, the sky is green … or whatever. But sometimes we can change things. Reps can’t move a deal along? Client keeps stalling? Someone needs to get in that client’s face. Face-to-face, that is. (Read more.)

What Is Sales Without Relationships?

When did it become the norm to answer the phone during dinner or to check email while having a conversation? We’re so wired for 24/7 connectivity that we have developed FOMO—fear of missing out. The unfortunate result: While we stay up-to-date on what’s happening online, we’re not paying attention to the people right in front of us. Unless you’re a doctor on call or you’re waiting for an emergency call from your family, you don’t need to be glued to your phone at all times. There’s nothing so important that it excuses neglecting your relationships, especially for those of us who work in sales. (Read more.)

Why Your Sales Reps Can’t Automate Referral Leads

Everyone loves a good shortcut. We live in microwave time—tapping our fingers because 15 or 30 seconds is just too slow. While there’s much to be said for efficiency, there are no shortcuts when it comes to relationships with customers. And without strong relationships, you can forget about getting referral leads. Top salespeople know existing clients are their best source of referrals to new clients. So they put in the time to nurture those relationships and stay in the know about what’s happening with their customers—both personally and professionally. (Read more.)

Why New Sales Leads Aren’t All That Matter in Sales

Sales organizations today have their priorities all wrong. They task reps with finding new sales leads, building qualified pipelines, and closing deals. It’s all about driving revenue in the short-term. As soon as sales reps sign a new customer, they move on to the next target. But clients are the best source of new business, and salespeople leave money on the table when they don’t continue to build those relationships and get referral sales leads. My colleague Ago Cluytens shares five reasons existing clients trump new prospects. (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. Rest assured, it’s completely anonymous, with no forms to fill out.

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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