ReferralsPushy and arrogant sales reps still give the rest of us a bad name.

Many buyers dislike salespeople. In their eyes, we’re the epitome of the used-car salesman—pushy, arrogant, in-your-face, and promising they’ll only get the best price if they buy today.

Much of that perception is justified. If I were to judge solely by the cold emails and phone calls I receive from sales reps about why I should watch a demo or spend 30 minutes listening to their pitches, I would feel the same way about our profession.

The key to changing that perception is working through referrals.

Is Your Team on the Wrong Side of the Buyer Divide?

A recent Hubspot infographic demonstrates the “buyer divide.” According to their data, what buyers want and what sales reps want are diametrically opposed. And that’s a big problem for sales teams.

Study this carefully and determine if you are the type of sales rep with whom buyers don’t want to do business.

hubspot infographic

Bridge the Divide with Referrals

The key to getting on the same side of the table as prospects is being a trusted, credible resource, not just a product pusher.

Referrals builds trust. The conversation is no longer about price. It’s about the problems, concerns, and challenges of the buyer. Referral sellers don’t just offer a quick fix; we offer expertise and tailored solutions.

Want to become the type of sales rep that buyers want to talk to? Get referral introductions. You’ll speak with buyers so early in the sales process, they might not yet know they have a need. Or maybe you’re the one who helps clarify the real problem. Either way, you’re “in.” Meanwhile, your competition is still trying the old, pushy ways to reach decision-makers. You win.

To learn what it takes to work through referrals, take my 14-question Referral I.Q. Quiz. It only takes a few minutes to complete, and you’ll have your checklist for referral selling.

Connect with No More Cold Calling

Follow Joanne on Google+ or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.