Tired of watching your sales reps spend hours on the phone, calling prospects who rarely ever call them back? Or wasting time pestering strangers on social media, who never asked for—and don’t want to hear—their sales pitches? Then it’s time to stop the cold calling madness.
During the “Turn Cold to Gold” webinar I hosted earlier this month, I polled the audience to uncover their greatest lead generation challenges. Here’s what they told me:
While only 6 percent of attendees already had a referral system in place, by the end of the 45-minute webinar, 91 percent said they were ready to commit to referral selling as their primary outbound prospecting strategy.
Why? They understood that referral sales strategies are the best way to overcome all of these challenges and more.
But referral selling isn’t easy. It’s a behavior change, and it doesn’t happen overnight. You need a system with strategy, skills, reinforcement, and coaching.
You can make that change in your sales team’s life by enrolling in my 2016 Referral-Selling Program. We had our kickoff last Thursday, but there’s still time if you register by Tuesday, August 2. Take the first step and learn more here. If you’re committed to referral selling, it’s time to take action.
In the meantime, learn more about referral selling in this month’s blog posts from No More Cold Calling:
This Is the Biggest Lead Generation Mistake on Social Media
It happened again. I accepted a LinkedIn invitation from someone I didn’t know, sent a personal response to greet my new connection, and immediately received a cold calling message from someone looking only for lead generation. Two days later, I got another message from the same person, asking for my phone number and when would be a good time to chat. Really? Why would I do anything he asks—attend a strategy call, watch his video, talk to him offline, or give him my phone number? Like so many salespeople, he’s just clicking buttons and banking on “return on clicks.” Where’s the relationship? Where’s the connection? Where’s the return? This is not social selling. It’s social stalking. (Read “This Is the Biggest Lead Generation Mistake on Social Media.”)
How to Really Heat Up Your Referral Sales Strategies
Think you can just tell sales reps to go ask for referrals? If that’s all you do, answer this question: How’s that working for you? Referrals don’t just happen, at least not at scale. Yes, occasionally a well-served client will mention your company to another buyer, and your team will get a sale without any real effort. But how often does that happen? Unless your company has a systematic, disciplined program in place to ensure sales reps are asking for referrals from every client, your team is leaving money on the table. (Read “How to Really Heat Up Your Referral Sales Strategies.”)
Do Women in Sales Lack Confidence?
Women in sales don’t have to think or act like men to become rainmakers; we have the natural-born skills and grit it takes to be top-tier sellers. We know how to build relationships. We are hardwired to be nurturers, connectors, and collaborators. So it’s no wonder that men say the best salespeople they know are women. And studies show that women in sales outperform their male counterparts in quota attainment, retention, and leadership effectiveness. Yet, many saleswomen fail to climb the career ladder. We could certainly make the case that gender discrimination is holding them back, and in many cases, it probably is. But often the greatest hurdles come from inside. The truth is that many would-be women leaders still lack the confidence to get their voices heard. (Read “Do Women in Sales Lack Confidence?”)
Sales Leaders: Are You Really Ready to Learn?
As the old saying goes, if you’re not learning, you’re dead. I prefer the former. I thrive on learning and could spend days reading posts online and immersed in books. Of course, I don’t have time for that. And besides, that’s not really learning. Learning means acknowledging that we’re really just beginners—showing our vulnerability and embracing our ignorance. It’s like being undressed in public. Embarrassing, to say the least. We’re adults; we have responsibilities; we’re supposed to know how to do our job. We’re not paid to learn. Yet, we all have plenty to learn. (Read “Sales Leaders: Are You Really Ready to Learn?”)
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.
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!