Employ a referral-sales strategy and you’ll close business on more than 50 percent of your sales meetings. Really.

The secret to building a solid sales business? Five lunches and four breakfasts each week. That’s nine meetings a week. It could be 10, but who wants to meet for breakfast on Monday morning?

The Magic Meeting Number

Nine meetings a week equals 36 meetings a month, equals 396 meetings a year. (A solid 12 months a year adds up to 432 meetings, but I subtracted four weeks for vacation and other things that get in the way—conferences, personal business, sick days, etc.)

Either way, the number is staggering: 396—this is what one of my clients asks his sales team to do. Do they reach that goal? Rarely. Selling is work. Continuing to expand our relationships and build our networks is work. But what a great return on our investment. To grow you need a goal.

(Don’t drop the ball. Be sure to follow up with your meeting guests, too! Read, “The Fortune Is in the Follow Up”.)

Set Stretch Goals and Reach

When your goal is to bring new clients to your company or your firm, your most important activity is expanding your referral network. Think of it this way. I’ll round down the numbers for easy math and reduce the number to be conservative. Say you have 200 meetings a year with potential referral sources. What if half (100) of those connections introduced you to a potential client.

Referrals Deliver Sales Success

We know with a referral introduction to your decision maker, you convert a minimum of 50 percent to clients. That means 50 new clients to your company. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. But you need to work the process. When you work it, it works.

Your biggest problem becomes following up on those great referrals. That’s a nice problem to have, and if you’re like me, you love that problem and will figure it out.

Nine meetings a week. Go for it!

Set and Meet Your Referral Challenge

What’s your referral-sales challenge? How do you meet and supersede your goals? Comment here.