You don’t cold call? Really?
Let me guess: You do some research, identify trigger events (what an over-used term!), and extract a name from someone. That’s cold … ice cold. The person doesn’t know you and doesn’t expect (or want) to hear from you.
Referrals are the other side of the coin—the key to closing more deals with fewer leads. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Jonathan Farrington, a colleague who lives in both the U.K. and France, has enjoyed a longer, more successful sales career than most, and he fully understands the power of referral relationships. In this month’s guest blog, he reinforces the referral message I’ve been spreading for years and presents hard data you can bank on.
Here’s what he has to say:
“I have never made a cold call in my life. That is almost 40 years of never picking up the phone and attempting to sell something to somebody I did not know. I have been spared the embarrassment of constant rejection. I have, instead, maximized my valuable selling time and enjoyed a highly-successful sales career.
Don’t Take My Word for It
I am living proof that referral selling works. And the numbers back me up:
- Eighty-five percent of all salespeople do not generate enough quality referrals.
- Salespeople who actively seek and exploit referrals earn four to five times more than salespeople who don’t.
- Referral business closes and converts more than 70 percent of the time.
Goodwill to All
Referrals are powerful because they maximize the goodwill inherent in relationships between referral sources and their contacts. A referred customer is already pre-sold on your credibility, your company, and the relevance of your products/services.
Referred salespeople are perceived in a much different light than those who make contact ‘out of the blue.’ The costs of selling are reduced because they are easier to see. And because referred prospects are more likely to be well qualified, the chance of converting the business is much higher. Generally speaking, referred prospects accelerate through the sales pipeline at a much faster rate than other types of opportunities, and are also more receptive to providing future referrals.
Pick Up the Phone and Hit the Ground Running
When I launched my first consultancy in 1993, having finally wrenched myself free from the relative security and comfort of corporate life, the first thing I did was pick up the phone—but not to call strangers. Rather, I called everyone I knew who I thought could benefit from my services. The rest, as they say, is history. All of my existing clients came to me via referrals. In fact, 98 percent of my clients over the past 20 years were referred to me.
People often ask me, ‘Is referral selling all it’s cracked up to be?’
My answer is always the same. In a word: ‘Yes.’ In five words: ‘Yes, of course it is!’”
How did you attract your best clients? How many of them came from referrals?
About the Author
Jonathan Farrington is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, business coach, mentor, author, consultant, and sales thought leader. He is the senior partner at Jonathan Farrington & Associates and CEO of Top Sales World, based in London and Paris. For more great articles from Jonathan, visit his blog at www.thesalesthoughtleaders.com.