Don’t ghost people. You’ll end up paying for it.

A woman I know from my business group met me for coffee. She wanted to discuss having me speak to her team about referrals. We brainstormed the topic and discussed her investment. She made it clear that she wasn’t the final decision-maker and said she would follow up. I agreed to send her a topic outline and pricing.

I broke my cardinal rule. I always have a follow-up call scheduled before I send anything, but I didn’t this time. I trusted that she would follow up.

I proceeded to send several emails over the next few weeks. I called and left a message. No response. I checked LinkedIn to see if she was still at the same company. She was. There’s no other way to describe her behavior than to say she was rude.

This was not a cold call. This was someone I knew! I thought about it and realized I would never, ever refer her to anyone. Not only was she rude and disrespectful, but if she didn’t follow up with me, I wouldn’t trust her to follow up with my referrals. And there’s one cardinal rule I NEVER break: I don’t refer people unless I trust them to take care of my contact the same way I would.

Trust is everything. Referrals are very, very personal. We put our reputations on the line when we make referrals, and there’s no way I would do that for this person.

Don’t tarnish your reputation, or the reputation of your referral sources. Follow up!

Read more about the importance of following up (and other important referral sales topics) in this month’s No More Cold Calling blog posts:

The Sales Fortune Is in the Follow-Up

A thank you goes a long way—thanks for your referrals, thanks for new business, thanks for the meeting. It’s not just a way to show gratitude. It’s also a great excuse for sales follow-up—a reason to connect with clients and prospects, to stay in touch with referral sources, and to deepen relationships with your overall business network.

When clients ask if they should send a note, make a call, or send an email to say thanks for referrals, I answer “yes.” You can never thank someone enough. Thank people in any of those ways, or better yet, in all of them.  Just make sure you follow up. (Read “The Sales Fortune Is in the Follow-Up.”)

The Ultimate Sales App—No Smartphone Required

What’s the most powerful sales tool at your disposal? Think it’s your smartphone? Think again. Salespeople love their sales apps. LinkedIn, Twitter, Salesforce, Facebook … I could go on and on. Each of these social apps and online platforms promises a killer feature that will streamline the sales process and make us all rich. As if!

The only sales app that’s guaranteed to do all of the above doesn’t require a smartphone, a tablet, or even a computer. Plus, it’s 100-percent free to use by anyone on any platform. That sales app is referrals. And its killer feature is you. (Read “The Ultimate Sales App—No Smartphone Required.”)

A Winning Sales Strategy Starts with Your Customer, Not with Digital

Digital isn’t a sales strategy, hope is not a strategy, referrals are not a strategy, marketing is not a strategy. Sales strategy isn’t yours or mine. It’s your company’s strategy for attracting customers. Not much has changed over the years. An executive reads the latest book and declares the precepts in the book are the company’s new strategy. Employees ignore these flash-in-the-pan announcements, because they know another new book and strategy will come along soon.

People don’t understand precepts and are not engaged by big ideas—unless leaders translate vision into sales strategy and explain what it means for every function in the company. If you leave it to your employees to figure things out, I guarantee that nothing will change. Well, something will change. People will begin to ignore what you say and chalk it up to the message of the day. On the other hand, if you can clearly communicate both your vision for success and your strategy for getting there, you can inspire everyone involved to work towards your goal. (Read “A Winning Sales Strategy Starts with Your Customer, Not with Digital.”)

Why You Might Need to Quit Your Job

My niece quit her job because she couldn’t handle the 60-hour workweeks while raising a family. She was stressed, had a short fuse, and didn’t smile much. I was getting increasingly worried about her health and was relieved when she quit. Sure, it was scary for her family for a while. One income was suddenly gone. But there’s always a silver lining to unemployment. For me, getting fired helped launch my referral business. For my niece, quitting was an opportunity to find a job she loves. Now she works 8:00 to 5:00, and she smiles a whole lot. Her boss has kids, and he understands when she needs to take time off.

My niece isn’t alone. More and more people are leaving their corporate jobs—and it’s not just women. In 2019, workers quit at an unprecedented rate, and employee disengagement was at an all-time high. Why are talented workers so unhappy at work? We don’t take time to nurture our relationships, and all that digital communication leaves us feeling disconnected. (Read “Why You Might Need to Quit Your Job.”)

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