[E25] Referral Week: Referral Gold

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Authentic Persuasion Show
[E25] Referral Week: Referral Gold
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In my experiences, there is so much referral GOLD that salespeople aren’t picking up.

They are walking right over it.

They don’t see it, sitting there all shiny.

Maybe they don’t believe it’s really gold (and not pyrite – fool’s gold).

Maybe they think it will take too much work to dig it out of the ground.

Whatever the reasons, if you goal is a long term, successful sales career then make sure you aren’t missing the small gold bits that could add up over time.

In the final episode of Referrals Week, I cover the referral gold that most consultative sales professionals miss.


Episode 25 – Transcript

Welcome to the fifth and final episode of Referral Week on The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter and I have really enjoyed talking about referrals this week. I hope you have enjoyed listening to me share my thought and experience on how to grow your referral based sales pipeline. I also hope you listened to the special conversation I had with Jamey Vumback. I know it’s a longer episode than my normal daily ones, but if you haven’t listened to it – check it out.

I am super excited for today’s topic on the show. Its one that usually gets me strange looks when sharing with groups of sales reps. And I will tell you that if your goal is to be a sales professional then its something that will push your referral game to the next level. But it takes a very certain skill and approach even before you ask for the referral.

This approach, which I will get to you in a minute, requires that you have a product or service that is not for everyone. This means you are helping someone buy something but there is some kind of qualifications. I have many years helping people with some kind of debt relief. Sometimes people called in and they didn’t have the right debt for what the program was designed to help with, or they couldn’t afford their payments, or what we had wasn’t their best option so we would point them in a different direction.

If you have some kind of consultative selling process, where you are using a discovery process to see if they meet the parameters for your product or service, then you will always have prospects that do not qualify. You will have prospects you actually say no to. Again, I am not talking about selling magazines door to door where everyone wins and should be sold a subscription. I am not talking about companies that assume everyone should buy from them no matter what. I am talking about consultative sales professionals who have a product or service that is a home run for a certain range of customers, while at the same time not making sense for anyone outside that range.

I talk to a lot of sales professionals, especially in the Business 2 Business space, whether they are helping companies with their digital marketing campaigns or with their call center phone technology. As I am talking with each one, for the purpose of networking and seeing how I can help them, my one question is “Who is your ideal homerun client who you can help and is super excited?” And then I ask “Who is not a good fit, that doesn’t make sense to work with?” The first reaction might be “I work with everyone, no one is too big or too small. And I would never turn away anyone.” If someone says that, you should always be cautious. Because most good, professional services companies are not ideal for every single prospect.

So there will be times where you tell prospects no, they don’t qualify. Its not a good fit. Maybe you even give them a recommendation of where they should go for help instead – or maybe their situation isn’t that bad and they should do nothing.  When you are a sales professional and your goal is to do the right thing for everyone you speak with, you will have some people you say no to.

Why am I sharing this during referrals week? Why would I talk about the deals you aren’t closing? Because those unqualified prospects are a gold mine of referrals. It sounds contrary to what you might think, but just follow along with me for a few minutes.

First, because you might already be thinking this – I talked in the last episode about not asking for the referral until you or your company has fulfilled the promises made to the prospect. You wouldn’t ask them to rate you on Yelp before they have even tasted your food. But now I am telling you to ask for referrals from people you weren’t even able to make promises to?

Yup. You are hearing me right. And no, I have not gone crazy. Why ask someone who you weren’t able to help? Because you just blew their mind into a million pieces. You just did the last thing they expected you to do. Remember from Fundamentals Week I talked about how the prospects are coming to you because they want to buy something or need help, but there is also some level of hesitation, worry, concern, or even fear that you will be that salesperson they are afraid of – the one who will use manipulation and sales tactics to get them to buy something that either they don’t want and will regret or doesn’t actually work or help them and they will regret. They have their walls up to protect themselves, yet they called anyway, or filled out your web form, or walked into your store, or onto your lot.

So if they do not qualify and you are honest and tell them that, instead of selling them anyway, they will be in shock. Imagine walking on to a car lot and having a sales person tell you that your credit isn’t good enough, you don’t really make enough money, and your current car seems to be working fine – and that the best thing to do is to wait 6 months and come back to buy a car. What if you knew that about yourself when you walked on the lot but wanted to see. What if you appreciated their honesty? Could you imagine that ever happening??? No…neither could I. Because if it did, that rep would be packing their stuff while you got back in your old car.

But imagine if they did that. And then imagine they asked you for referrals. You just met the most honest car sales person in the world – do you think you would tell your friends and family? Hell yes you would.

Have you ever taken your car to a mechanic because you thought there was a problem and they checked in out and made a small adjustment, didn’t charge you much and didn’t talk you into lots of repairs you didn’t want to do nor could afford? If you have had that experience, which is different than most people’s fears with mechanics, or dentists, or doctors – what did you do afterwards? You told all your friends and family. And any time someone mentioned a car issue, you instantly told them to go see your mechanic.

And your reaction is because they DIDN’T try and get you to buy from them. They did the right thing for you, you were SHOCKED and AMAZED. You left happy…and did I mention, Shocked? And you literally couldn’t wait to tell the world.

This is what you want to create as well. If your product or service doesn’t make sense for the prospect, be honest. Come from a place o abundance. There are 7 billion people on the planet…guessing you don’t need to convince all of them to buy from you in order to achieve your goals. So don’t get desperate and try and sell to everyone. Sell to the right people, and for the wrong people, ask then for referrals. Tell them you want to help their friends and family that could use your services. Send them a follow up email or text so they have your information. Even thought they are not a customer, add them to your database and your referral advocate system. Treat them like the unclosed gold that they could be.

Will they generate referrals? You don’t know. But if you did this on most all of your unqualified leads each day, for the next six months, imagine how many seeds you just planted!

Alright…well, so much for sub 10 minute episodes….but referrals are such a powerful and important part of a professional sales career. Mostly because when you focus on generating referrals then by definition it means you are also creating a great Sales Experience or the prospects who become new customers. And that is my goal for you. If you have enjoyed the episodes this week, make sure to subscribe, rate and leave a comment on iTunes. I hope I have provided value and thus earned your referrals. I would love nothing more than for you to share this with anyone and everyone you know who is in sales, thinking about getting into sales, or is a sales manager or leader. You sharing this with others means that I have done my job and earned your referrals.

And until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.

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