Find out about my new LinkedIn Learning course—plus, what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could put our iPads under our pillows and awaken with a referral system that delivers qualified leads to our pipelines day after day? Well, now you (sorta) can … as long as you’re wearing earbuds.
LinkedIn Learning has just released my complete referral system. The program includes a series of short videos, which I recorded in the LinkedIn studios. I share plenty of referral examples and explain why referral sales works. I also discuss:
- What gets in the way of asking for referrals
- What it takes to earn introductions to prime prospects
- How to ask for referrals in the right way
- Ways to leverage social media to widen your reach
The course includes worksheets to help you build out your referral process, as well as role-playing scenarios that demonstrate how referral requests play out in real face-to-face conversations.
Want even more referral examples? Check out this month’s blog posts from No More Cold Calling:
How to Harness the Power of Business Referrals
It’s time to get serious about business referrals. In spite of numerous misconceptions and poor implementation, referrals in business are where the power is. But the first step to harnessing this power is understanding just what referral selling is and how it feeds your sales machine. Before you can put a referral system in place to generate those hot, high-converting leads for your team, you must believe without a doubt that business referrals are the key to qualified lead generation. That means clearing up any misconceptions about referral sales, for yourself and for your team. Here are the most common referral sales myths—and why they’re busted. (Read “How to Harness the Power of Business Referrals.”)
Why Should I Give You a Referral?
I recently received the following email:
“I finished your book on referral sales last night, and now I’m building my 100 names so that I can ask for introductions to a couple of decent sales reps with some experience selling to my market. I’m also going to ask my network if they know companies in this space … Can you think of anyone in that space? OK, I’m down to 99 as I just asked you.”
Your reaction was probably the same as mine. He didn’t give me a business reason to refer him, he didn’t tell me who he wants to meet (his ideal client), and he broke my #1 rule: Never, ever ask for a referral in any digital format. He clearly didn’t read my book. At best, he skimmed the first few chapters and skipped the referral examples. He does what most people do when they don’t know how to ask for referrals. They spit everything out as quickly as possible and check “asking for referrals” off their to-do list. They then wonder why they don’t get referrals. Because referrals aren’t personal favors; they’re business interactions, and they require business conversations. (Read “Why Should I Give You a Referral?”)
Are You Caving on Price in Your Sales Negotiations?
More than 10 years ago, a marketing agency told me most sellers cave on price before prospects even ask for a discount. Sadly, that behavior continues in sales negotiations today. We’ve trained our buyers to expect discounts and that everything is negotiable. They know sales reps will make the best offers at the end of the quarter or at the end of our fiscal year, so they wait. That sure messes up our forecasts, commissions, and company profits, and it lengthens our sales process. Let’s call sales negotiations what it is: a failed sales technique. The better strategy is to quote a reasonable price in the first place, and you’ll gradually shift buyer behavior. Buyers recognize an inflated price a mile away. If you must reduce your price, take something away. Or give them a choice of what to eliminate. There’s also a difference between price and payment. Most clients value spreading out their payments over a few months. Your client gets a perk they didn’t expect, which makes them even more comfortable signing a deal with you. (Read “Are You Caving on Price in Your Sales Negotiations?”)
Want to Up Your Prospecting Success? Ditch the Status Quo
Business is unpredictable and uber-fast-paced. Everyone is overloaded with work. The day of the week (or weekend) doesn’t matter much anymore. We can be on calls anyplace around the globe at any hour. Much is not only unpredictable, but complicated. We get mixed messages. Clients tell us deals will close, and then delay the launch. Prospects tell us they’re decision-makers, even when they’re not. We focus on the tasks to complete and emails to send, and we lose sight of our big-picture goals. We struggle to find time for ourselves, our friends, and our families. How do we change things up and get off the hamster wheel? First, we must give up the way we’ve always worked. Give up what we know to make room for sales innovation—new ideas, new processes, new inventions, new everything. Just as we ditched our legacy software, we must ditch our legacy history, and the legacy processes that are stalling our growth. (Read “Want to Up Your Prospecting Success? Ditch the Status Quo.”)