CC book 2Here’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling last month.

I ran a Facebook ad for the first time … ever. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of my first book, No More Cold Calling, I offered it on Kindle for 99 cents for one day only—April 14. While I didn’t believe in paid ads, I wanted to spread the word about this offer, and the power of referral selling for lead generation.

The ad had a tremendous click-through rate. I was curious about the age ranges, and they were almost too close to call. The 25- to 34-year-olds were about even with the 65+ crowd. The majority were males in the 35-to-44 age range, with plenty in the 45-to-64 range.

The lesson? Everyone wants to learn how to boost their close rates to well more than 50 percent, get every meeting with one call, and never have to make another dreaded cold call. And asking for referrals is the only way to do that.

Want to learn more about the power of a referral program? Check out the latest blog posts from No More Cold Calling:

Your Most Burning Referral Questions Immediately Answered

“You can ask for referrals from anyone you meet, and it’s often easier to get referrals from new contacts than from existing clients.” Never! That’s just some of the nonsense that’s bandied about by people who think they know how referrals work. And they’re dead wrong. I’m asked many questions about how to get started with referrals: What does a referral program look like? What’s the right way to ask for referrals? How do I measure the results of a referral program? Here are some of your smartest questions, and my answers about how a referral program can drive lead generation. (Read “Your Most Burning Referral Questions Immediately Answered.”)

Lead Generation … Here We Go Again

“Generating qualified leads is the biggest challenge for my sales team. “That’s what I hear from every sales leader. Ineffective lead generation tactics are a huge blot on sales productivity and revenue. But simply filling the pipeline with contacts isn’t enough to correct the problem. Sales reps must generate a consistent stream of qualified sales leads. How do they get qualified leads? I’m sure you can guess my answer: They adopt a disciplined referral program, build skills in referral selling, and make asking for referrals the way they work every day. Now that we know the answer to the lead generation challenge, find out what Jonathan Farrington, CEO of Top Sales World, says about the key challenges every sales organization faces. (Read “Lead Generation … Here We Go Again.”)

Will Asking for Referrals Help This Sales Leader? (Salesforce Guest Post)

Mark left a Fortune 500 Silicon Valley company to become VP of Global Sales for a start-up in the same industry. His team’s biggest problem, Mark told me, was building a consistent stream of qualified leads. Prospects didn’t know their company existed, making it difficult for Mark’s team to even get meetings. Instead, buyers went straight to the well-known “big guys”—the safe choice. Yes, working for an “underdog” presented this sales veteran with new challenges. Mark knew he had to level the playing field, but asking for referrals wasn’t even on his radar as the solution to his problem. As Mark learned from our conversation, committing to a systematic referral program is a huge competitive advantage for sales reps—no matter the company size. (Read my latest guest post for Salesforce: “Will Asking for Referrals Help This Sales Leader?”)

5 Success Strategies for Women in Sales (Women Sales Pros Guest Post)

Women are darn good at sales. We’re hardwired to be nurturers, connectors, and collaborators. We see the complexities in deals and dig deep to find the best solution for each client. We instinctively know how to build strong relationships and earn clients’ trust. Yet, women in sales face barriers to our progress. Some barriers we create for ourselves. Others have formed over the years based on perceptions that we’re too soft, that we can’t manage work and family, that we don’t understand technology. Nonsense! We don’t have to think or act like men to become rainmakers. In fact, men often tell me, “The best salespeople I know are women.” (Read my latest guest post for Women Sales Pros: “5 Success Strategies for Women in Sales.”)

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!