The most efficient Sellers want to “work easy.” How do I generate the best results with the least amount of effort? How do I leverage existing business to generate incremental business?
In my years of work with experienced and rookie Sellers, there continues to be confusion surrounding references and referrals. And now entering the mix is “reputation.”
REPUTATION – People talk about people. Our reputation is built without even knowing about it. In many ways, we’re the innocent bystanders as people come to conclusions about us. Reputations precede us at every business stop we make and can be good news – or bad news. When the phone rings and on the other end of the line is someone we don’t know but wants to know if we can help, that’s a function of a good reputation. Sometimes we’ll hear that they “got our name from John who used you in the past.” Or, they might not even know the source of what was being said about us. Remember, reputations are established by someone else’s perception of what, and how, we do what we do.
REFERENCES – This is a “passive” way of using existing clients to generate new business. We might have procured written testimonials about the quality of our work. Or, we receive permission to “use their names” while seeking new business opportunities. We have their “word” about us in our pocket to use whenever it makes sense.
REFERRALS – In my experience, fewer than 5% of Sellers ask for referrals and even then the effort is limited to obtaining names and contact information. Asking for referrals (correctly) is the most powerful way to obtain business – if given the opportunity, our folks will open doors and “tee it up” for us. You may recall from Morsel #4 that we can be much more assertive when asking for help from our clients. Try this Protocol:
Who do you know that might be interested in (my service/what I sell)?
When will you be talking to them next?
How comfortable would you be in finding out from (prospect) what interest they have in talking to me about (my service/what I sell)?
When should follow-up with you?
By working diligently to establish a positive reputation along with utilizing references and referrals, we become more efficient in our sales and grow business in the simplest and easiest manners.
What do you think?
Good Selling to you!
EDITED BY JIM OLSON
SLH Sales System Morsels are meant exclusively for non-commercial use by the recipient. No modifications of any kind may be made without the written permission of the SLH Sales System.