January 11, 2012


Where does most of your business come from? Reports show that referrals top the chart when it comes to gaining initial contact with a prospect. Proper sales training can help you to not only get those referrals, but to follow up on those leads for increased retention.

Sources
More than organizations, trade shows, marketing, or advertising, gaining a referral can bring you the greatest number of new prospects. There are several sources for referrals that can help build your pipeline.

* Ask vendors, suppliers, subcontractors, and consultants. They are in contact with numerous prospects.
* Your best customers are an excellent source. They know you, and what you can provide.
* Ask prospects who do not buy. They might not be a good fit for you, but they may know someone who is.
* Join a referral organization
* Ask your family, friends, business associates. Everyone is a potential source.

Your existing clients may represent the strongest link for you to a qualified referral. Business coming from those existing clients has a 92% retention rate.

Maximizing the source
If someone has provided you with a referral, use proper sales training techniques to nurture that relationship. Thank them, and turn them into a “coach”. Having them as a liaison between you and the prospect creates a strong link that can be worked effectively. The coach can:

* Help qualify the prospect.
* Provide a testimonial for you in a phone call, letter, or email
* Set up an introduction via conference call, meeting, or activity

Some customers may feel vulnerable about getting involved, so assure them you will give their referral the same excellent service you provided to them.

Feedback
Turn your sources into a team player. Keep your referral source (coach) updated on your progress. If they are part of the cycle, then concerns or hesitations about providing other referrals are less likely in the future. Nurturing that coach relationship can be done through various rewards:

* Recommend their business to repay them for their assistance.
* Sponsor networking events for them
* Share information with them to help their business. This could include marketing information or useful websites

How you move forward with a referral can make all the difference. Fifty-four percent of qualified referrals that are properly pursued will eventually buy. Those are good odds, but make sure you don’t drop the ball. Unfortunately, 87% of referrals given are never pursued!

For more sales training information on how to pursue referrals, contact us today.

Here are a few photos from our latest sales training seminar on December 11th!