Are you getting your fair share of referrals?
- Grow your network, so you don't have to "start from scratch."
- Add a branch.
- Water your tree.
Let's face it. When it comes to developing new business, it's no fun to have to start the selling cycle all over again, time after time. Fortunately, there is a better way.
Draw a straight line vertically down the center of a piece of paper. Connect that line with a horizontal line at the bottom of the page. Now, every time you sell a prospect, extend a branch from the vertical line. This is your referral tree. That branch you just added in a sign of sales growth. It can generate branches of its own!
If you're "working hard," and opposed to "working smart," (see Rule #34), you will have a tree that looks like a trunk with mostly dead branches on it. So what would "working smart" look like when it comes to referrals?
The salesperson who "works smart" uses the referred lead to sustain and support new growth on the tree. Every time this salesperson makes a sale, she asks for a referral. She then can work her way from "cool" to "warm," establishing a relationship with this new prospect- a relationship based, initially, on the work she's done in the past with her customer. When she eventually sells this new prospect, she adds on to the branch of the customer who gave her the referral- and asks the new customer for a referral!
You can actually see it grow. Someone who's "working hard" - but generating few deals and few referrals - will have a referral tree that looks like something you'd see in the dead of winter. Someone who's "working smart" will enjoy consistent referral growth with every consistent referral growth with every new sale - and start more new business relationships by means of a referral.
Amateur salespeople hate the thought of prospecting because it means they have to start "cold" every time. Professionals who know how to "work smart" are experts at working the referral tree. They spend more time beginning their sales cycle with leads that are "cool," "warm," or even "hot!"
There is an added bonus to consider here. Even "cool" leads you to generate from your referral tree are much, much easier calls to make than classic "cold" calls! If you think for just a moment, you'll realize how true this is. Would you rather talk to John Smith's gatekeeper with the name of someone who has asked you to get in touch with John, or without the name to mention? Of course, you want to be able to say something like this: "I'm calling for John Smith; Michael Jones asked me to call. Can you put me through to him, please?" John Smith is very likely to take that call!
So here's a guaranteed money-maker for your referral tree: Each time you make a sale, write a letter or send an e-mail to all of the customers on the branch that led you to that sale, thanking the person who gave you the referral! Water your referral tree by letting your customers know you appreciate them. Money does grow on trees