puzzleAre you one of the 58.1 percent who haven’t adopted referral selling?

Is capturing new accounts your greatest sales challenge? According to CSO Insights’ 2015 Sales Performance Optimization study—a survey of more than 1,000 companies—58.1 percent of sales leaders say it’s their top objective this year.

Growing market share is the life blood of most companies, but many sales organizations struggle to bring in new business. What does it take to overcome that challenge?

I’m sure my answer won’t surprise you. The #1 way to capture new accounts is with referral selling. You get in early, ace-out the competition, shorten your sales process, and convert prospects into new clients well more than 50 percent of the time. No other sales or marketing strategy comes close to competing with referral selling.

That’s why we featured posts about referral selling this month. Check out what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling:

How to Get More Referrals Now

“I’ve been hearing wonderful things about you.” Don’t you love hearing that? Now imagine a sales world where you only meet with clients who want to meet with you—a world where you never have to cold call, send prospecting letters, pester strangers on social media, or entice clients with special offers. Enter the world of referral selling. In this new world, you’ll spend your time wisely. You’ll discover how to get more referrals—and seal more deals—all while working less. You’ll transform the way you work so that you’re only serving fabulous clients—those you enjoy talking to, and who generate plenty of revenue. Once you experience the success of a referral strategy, there’s no turning back. (Read more.)

Cold Call, Root Canal, or Abstinence—You Pick

Would you rather give up sex for one month or make cold calls for a week? According to a survey of 1,226 salespeople, most would choose abstinence. The only activity they deemed worse than cold calling was getting a root canal. No one should have to do a job that is almost as bad as dental surgery, especially not when there’s a better way to sell—with referral introductions from people your prospects know, like, and trust. (Read more.)

Want a 74% Chance of Winning a Sale?

In B2B sales, customers buy more than just our products and services. They buy our ideas—our visions for scaling their businesses and improving their bottom lines. In fact, according to Forrester Research, “The first seller to set a vision of what’s possible has a 74 percent chance of winning the deal.” But before we can sell a vision for the future, we must understand the present. We must demonstrate expertise in our prospects’ industries, and understand their unique business models and challenges. In other words, before we suggest change, we need to understand the status quo. (Read more.)

Are Referrals Your Priority … or an Afterthought?

Don’t believe referrals scale? Then you don’t understand referral selling. Referrals are the most effective way to generate qualified leads. Referred prospects are pre-sold. They consider us experts, value our time and ideas, and actually want to hear from us—which is why they convert into customers more than 50 percent of the time. Yet, 95 percent of companies don’t have a well-developed referral process. So, their sales teams waste time cold calling, when they could be filling their pipelines with hot referral leads. (Read more.)

Are You the Only One in the Room Who Knows the Answer?

You wouldn’t socialize in a dark room, so why keep your clients and colleagues in the dark? You know who your Ideal Client is, but your customers, colleagues, and friends might not … unless you tell them. Want referrals to exactly the types of clients you want to meet—those who have budget and a need for your solution, who value your time and expertise, and who have the power to make decisions and close big deals? Then stop expecting your Referral Sources to read your mind. Instead create a crisp picture and a precise definition of your Ideal Client. (Read more.)

[Message to Management]: What Is Your Sales Team Doing RIGHT?

Your manager compliments you on a sales call or for nailing a big contract. You want to bask in your glory for a few moments, but you know the next sentence out of your manager’s mouth will start with but—as in, “But why didn’t you do X?” or “But next time, be sure to do Y.” We’ve all been there … waiting for the other shoe to drop. That’s why I resonated with Keith Rosen’s refreshing post about what sales leaders must do to develop their teams. In this month’s No More Cold Calling guest post, he provides specific coaching questions to reinforce what salespeople do right. (Read more.)

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. 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!