Put your money where your mouth is and pick up the phone. Nothing is more important than generating new business.

“I was so busy this week. I neglected to make time to call and ask for referrals.” That’s what a client told me. But I didn’t let her get away with it – a lame excuse, in my book.

Always Be Asking

What else was she doing that was more important? You know the answer to that question: nothing. My guess is that she hadn’t practiced asking for referrals in the way she learned, and therefore, she hadn’t achieved a comfort level in asking. She avoided calling, connecting with her clients, and asking for an introduction to her Ideal Client.

Smart salespeople should always be asking.

One of the top reasons salespeople neglect to adopt a referral-selling discipline, is that they’re afraid to ask for referrals. It doesn’t matter whether a salesperson changes industries, takes a job right out of school, or is a sales veteran of more than 20 years, most of us feel uncomfortable asking for referrals…at first.

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

Referral selling is the most personal approach to sales. We’re most fearful that our Referral Source will refuse to give us a referral. We fear the “No” response. So we don’t ask. And if we don’t ask, we don’t get.

Yet every sales executive and salesperson agrees that nothing compares to referral business. Certainly not cold calling. Referral selling is the most effective and highly leveraged selling system. Nothing else comes close.

Everyone Is Part of Your Sales Team

We all want more referrals. Many of us believe that because our business is complex and sophisticated, that only certain people are good connections – meaning that only certain people make good business-development prospects. This assumption is just wrong. Everyone knows someone: You just need to ask.

Activity Matters

What to do? It’s simple. Make one more call a day. Set up one more breakfast or lunch. These networking activities equate to 20 outreach calls or referral meetings a month. Extraordinary!

Do the math. Let’s assume you ask 20 people for referrals and you receive 10 introductions. The conservative conversion metric when you receive an introduction to a qualified prospect is 50 percent. Yes, 50 percent become clients.

Really, do the math: that’s five new clients. I’ll bet that these numbers would excite everyone in sales.

You don’t have time to prospect? Get real. Get busy. Get referrals.

What’s Your Sales Excuse? Comment Here.

You’re right: I’m a die-hard referral-selling advocate. I cut no slack because referral selling delivers. Make the most of your business-development time. What’s holding you back? Comment here and I promise to personally respond to every thoughtful post.