The biggest problem with referrals is that they sometimes work even if you don’t really have a strategy. Hear me out...just like with the Chicken Little story, because it fell out of the sky and worked out you then think you just need to stand outside more and the referrals ‘will rain’ from the heavens. I call this type of referral marketing reactive and/or passive...you just hope it happens.
This isn’t reality and it never, ever works for people that need to earn real money from sales. Real success is about having the ability to #predictreferrals just like you do when you forecast your sales results.
If your #salesmanager can’t see and believe you will hit your numbers with #referralbasedsales...you probably won’t either.
I was recently on @clubhouse with the DLA Ignite team on their Social Selling and Influencer weekly chat Fridays at 8am ET in the U.S. and their encouragement is what has brought this article to life.
Before you can get predictable with your referrals you have to understand why you aren’t set up for sustained and trustworthy referral results. I wrote an article that I believe covers most of this and it is about #referralunicorns.
Fear is why we don’t dive deep into referrals when it comes to meeting our sales numbers. We believe, with some degree of certainty, that referrals are a referendum on our value as a professional and as an individual. This is 100% true and is the foundational truth of all forms of sales. You are going to have some people that don’t like you and don’t want to help you...no matter what you do.
At least with referrals done right, you will learn WHO wants to help YOU and will then be able to continually improve your efforts and results.
Here is another truth: Referrals aren’t special.
Referral based sales is just that: sales. Now, the great part of referrals for those of us that are willing to do as Adam Gray so beautifully states it when he says we have a ‘Duty of Care’, is that we can have a predictable and infinitely scalable relationship based selling experience. We won’t be immune to mean people and bad experiences, but, over time we will increasingly be insulated from those experiences because we will become the vendor of choice because of how we do referrals.
If you aren’t prepared to think about protecting all three participants in the normal referral process (see Adam’s quote above) you aren’t going to be successful with real referral based sales efforts...and quite frankly with what the team at DLA Ignite or Selling From The Heart is teaching when it comes to #socialselling.
Referrals and social done right are 100% about developing valuable and attractive relationships between the professional being referred/introduced and the prospect being taken care of. Don’t forget to make sure you are aware of how the person referring you or sharing you (social) is affected by your actions. You can’t scale referrals if people won’t keep referring you.
Neither strategy is a ‘get rich quick scheme’ and while I would argue strongly and with mathematics that they are just as fast to results as any traditional form of sales...they take time, consistent effort, measurement and reflection and learning.
I absolutely love teaching and answering questions about referral based sales and am a huge fan and current learner about social selling. If you do have questions, hit me with some comments below and/or a direct message. My email is email@example.com and the website is Values Based Mindset.