Monday, March 24, 2008

Increase Result From Referrals

It is a growing myth that once a company has acquired a rhythmic system of referrals, the owner of that company can just as well hang up his sales hat and coast into retirement with a never ending stream of revenue. While there is a nugget of truth to this myth as most myths, it is a gross overstatement of the facts. Yes, referrals will make your job a hundred times easier than the days of cold calling.

Its a different type of salesmanship thats called for and yes, its an easier type. It might be compared to the difference between cutting down a tree with an old rusty axe and a chainsaw. There is some work required in both situations but which would you rather do? Still, the tree must be cut down in either circumstance.

Just because you used to have to find the tree on your own in the days of the axe and now you are led to the tree by a map, does not change the end facts of the day. And without the skills needed to operate that chainsaw, you might as well be back where you started from. Likewise, without the sales skills needed to close the deal, those precious referrals might as well be numbers out of the phone book.

To begin with, you will have to sell your product and company to the potential source of the referral. If this person does not believe theres anything worth buying into, then why on earth would they want to recommend your company to someone else? And even if you do succeed in getting that important referral, its worth remembering that a referral and a sale are two different things.

Its the difference between being shown a door and having a key to unlock it. At the end of the day, you still have to close the sale. This ability to make the sale comes into play with your referral source even before you get to the referral themselves. Even if you manage to convince the source that your product or service is worth recommending, you have to go the extra mile and make them believe that you will be able to sell the referral on your service and company as well.

A source will not want to put his friend or business associate in the position of listening to a half baked sales pitch. Though the referral may not benefit the source financially, he will not want to be embarrassed by presenting his recommendation only to have his friend or associate turn down the offer. If a successful sale is made at the end of the day, it makes the referring party look good. He was the catalyst behind a friend or associate of his buying a product they obviously wanted or needed.

Sales are important in business, and it would be wise not to let your skills begin to rust just because you have a system of referrals in place. Take this advice, and you will be able to continue to build your business and create a solid network of sales.

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Obinna Heche: Los Angeles- California

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