Are you getting regular referral business as a seller? I shared this story below about how I referred a hair stylist to a friend of mine and how that single referral gave her loyal clients for many years in addition to personal relationships that would be considered priceless. If you can learn how to master referral selling it could be the biggest "tool" in your sales toolkit. Referrals are so valuable because when someone is referred your way, they are already predisposed to do business with you and you'll see a much shorter sales cycle. I've talked about referrals many times over the years - because referrals rock! It was a random salon I chose when I first moved to Boston - I simply went to the internet and did a search, which back in 1998 yielded just a few results. As soon as one relocates, you need to find certain services, and a hair salon with a great stylist was at the top of my list. Assigned to a stylist named Roz, I happily showed up and quickly became a loyal customer.
REFERRALS ARE VALUABLE
The salon was OK, but Roz was amazing. Her sense of style, competence, lightheartedness, and wonderful Irish brogue had me hooked. A few short years later, I moved away, but before I did, I raved about her to my friend Mary. Mary always touted her Irish heritage so I knew she'd appreciate Roz, and I had a feeling she'd like her skill and personality.
As a master connector, I connect folks all the time - I mean almost daily. Sometimes it's a match made in heaven (I've connected people who have gone on to be great business partners and I've connected consultants to their biggest new customer. I have come to accept over the years that this is one of my gifts and I embrace it). Did I ever underestimate this connection though.
Mary became one of Roz's best clients as well as a good friend. Mary introduced many of her family members and friends to Roz and her style, cut, and color services. It's been more than 10 years (update = 16 years!) of Mary's referrals including hiring Roz on-site for weddings and other occasions. My loose ballpark math puts business done since my introduction of Mary to Roz around $30,000 (update = $50K?) - could be more.
What's great is that Roz moved a while back to an amazing home in a great neighborhood. I asked her how she found out about it - and she said with a smile, "Mary's sister - she and I have become very good friends and she lives just down the street. When she heard the house was going on the market, she tipped me off - and we grabbed it."
This is a reminder to mention those who give you great service to endorse them. Offer them testimonials.
Don't ever underestimate the power of a referral - what worked for Roz can work for you and your business - as $100K or $1M referrals. Start by making a list of those who know and trust you. Keep in contact with them, and help them by referring others their way.
Need some help with referrals?
Lori Richardson helps mid-sized companies grow revenues by solving key issues in their sales department - like recruiting, retention, diversity hiring, process, pipeline and leadership. She speaks at CEO groups on topics of sales growth. Clients include companies in the technology, telecom, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services industries. Subscribe to the award-winning blog, follow her on Twitter
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