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Sales Reinvented

We at Sales Reinvented are on a mission to change the negative perception of sales people. Each week we will be interviewing experts in the field of sales and sharing their knowledge, ideas and expertise with our listeners. They share with us in our vision of a world where selling is a profession to be proud of. The aim of our formatted show is to provide ‘snackable’ episodes that are short enough to listen to in one sitting but long enough to provide real value that will help you in your sales career. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.
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Now displaying: April, 2023

At Sales Reinvented, we are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

Apr 26, 2023

Some referrals are through people you have relationships with. Others are from friends and family. Still others are from customers. They all have a different impact depending on the industry you’re in. But generally speaking, referrals need to be a large part of your sales strategy. Steve Benson agrees with this sentiment but believes there’s an easier way to get referrals: Call them “introductions” instead. Listen to this episode to learn why he takes this stance! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:05] What are referrals? How do they work? 
  • [1:52] Common mistakes salespeople make asking for referrals
  • [2:38] How to leverage social media to generate referrals
  • [3:23] Using referral-based selling as a sales strategy
  • [4:41] How to measure the success of a referral program 
  • [6:11] How to ask for referrals without being pushy
  • [6:40] Best practices for requesting referrals
  • [8:08] The role of technology in referral selling
  • [10:35] Steve’s top 3 referral selling dos and don’ts
  • [12:29] Leveraging the power of introductions

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Apr 19, 2023

According to Liz Heiman, there are two types of referrals. A referral could be from someone who doesn’t buy from you but can share leads with you. The other type of referral is from an existing customer. They’re both introducing you to people you might not know. Liz shares the approach she takes when asking for referrals in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Don’t miss it! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:58] What are referrals? How do they work in sales?
  • [1:43] Common mistakes salespeople make asking for referrals
  • [2:43] How salespeople can leverage social media to generate referrals
  • [5:20] Liz’s advice for those exploring referral-based selling 
  • [6:47] How to measure the success of a referral program
  • [8:49] The right way to ask for client referrals
  • [11:05] Best practices for asking for referrals 
  • [13:48] The role technology plays in referral selling
  • [15:10] Liz’s top 3 referral selling dos and don’ts
  • [17:06] Don’t be afraid to take a creative approach

How salespeople can leverage social media to generate referrals

Liz loves Brynne Tillman’s method of using social media for lead generation. Brynne will look through the clients that she knows are happy with her and looks at their connections. Who would be a good fit to work with? Then she’ll go to that client and ask them for introductions. 

Another strategy is to look at companies or people you’ve identified as a target and look to see who they know that you might know. You can then see if that common connection would give you an introduction. Make sure the connections know why you want an introduction. 

Liz points out that many people don’t use LinkedIn to build their network and it’s a huge mistake. Connect with everyone you know because you never know who they’re connected with. 

Liz’s advice for those exploring referral-based selling 

Liz recommends starting with people you think will be your best referrers. Do you want to call on existing clients? Do you have an existing client base? If not, who could refer business to you that you have credibility with? Write down what you want to say and how you want to say it. The more clear you are, the easier it is to do it. Build it into your process so that it’s comfortable and repeatable.

When Liz asks for a referral, she says something like, “I see that you are connected to so-and-so. I think that they could use my services. Do you think that’s true? Would you be willing to introduce me?” It isn’t pushy nor does it put the work on the person she’s asking. 

She points out that you should ask for a referral any time that it seems appropriate, usually when you’re engaged with the client and they’re happy. The biggest mistake is not asking for a referral. According to Joanne Black’s research, 97% of people, when asked, would give a referral if they liked the service and were happy with the company that they worked with. Yet on average, only 3% of customers are asked for a referral.

How to measure the success of a referral program

Referrals should be one of your lead sources. Liz not only tracks referrals but also tracks who referred that person. If you are tracking lead sources, you can track them through the client, account, and opportunity. You need to see what closes and keep your client apprised of the process so they aren’t out of the loop. 

Connect with Liz Heiman

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Nick Kane is a founder and Managing Partner of Janek Performance Group, a leading sales performance organization providing sales training and sales consulting solutions. Nick has more than 25 years of experience in sales and is a thought leader and authority, supporting hundreds of clients in optimizing their sales performance. Nick co-authored the book "Critical Selling: How Top Performers Accelerate the Sales Process and Close More Deals," and has penned hundreds of articles on sales performance.

Apr 12, 2023

Referrals are a recommendation from a satisfied customer or trusted network of people you interact with, i.e. your center of influence. If you’re in sales and you aren’t asking your customers or sphere of influence for referrals, you’re leaving money on the table. But what are the best practices for asking for referrals? Nick Kane shares his referral-selling dos and don’ts in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Check it out! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:04] What are referrals? How do they work in sales?
  • [1:34] Common mistakes salespeople make asking for referrals
  • [2:21] How salespeople can leverage social media to generate referrals
  • [3:10] Nick’s advice for those exploring referral-based selling 
  • [5:06] How to measure the success of a referral program
  • [6:07] Best Practices: The right way to ask for client referrals
  • [8:40] The role technology plays in referral selling
  • [10:20] Nick’s top 3 referral selling dos and don’ts
  • [14:29] A story that drives home the importance of creativity 

Nick’s advice for those exploring referral-based selling 

You have to make sure that you’re building strong relationships with customers, both existing and prospects. Provide excellent service and support and satisfy your client’s needs. How well do you understand their needs and pain points? Are you helping them solve their problems? A positive customer experience is the foundation of gaining referrals. Happy customers share information and open their networks to you. Secondly, you should create a referral program. Incentivize customers to send people your way. 

Best Practices: The right way to ask for client referrals

Salespeople tend to ask for a referral at the wrong time. Make sure you approach the customer at the right time in the right way. How you ask must be genuine. You need to establish a relationship first. Make sure the customer has a positive relationship with you and that you’ve done good by them. 

Salespeople also struggle to explain the value proposition and what’s in it for the customer. You need to find a way to make it advantageous for them to provide referrals. Ask tactfully and let the customer know what’s in it for both of you. Customers want their salespeople to be successful as long as you’re helping them to be successful as well. 

Who are your loyal and satisfied customers? Who's had the most positive experience and is most likely to refer others? Segment your database to understand who’s most likely to offer a referral. Who interacts with your prospect? Where are those conversations happening? How can you leverage influence from someone in a position of influence? 

You can also customers who have already referred others to refer more people. If they’re willing to refer their network, it can expand your referral opportunities. 

Why does Nick recommend surveying your clients regularly? Listen to the whole episode to learn more!

How to measure the success of a referral program

You should be tracking the number of referrals generated as a lead source in your CRM. Know exactly where those referrals come from. Follow each of those referrals through the pipeline. How many turned into opportunities? What is the size of those opportunities? How many converted into a sale? What is the customer lifetime value of the customer relationship? Treat the referrals as their own lead source and track them as such. 

Nick’s top 3 referral selling dos and don’ts

Nick shares some strong dos and don’ts every salesperson should consider:

  • Build strong relationships with existing customers by providing excellent service, excellent customer experience, and excellent support. Consistently ask for feedback to improve the customer experience. You need to be dedicated to serving your customers and helping them solve the problems and challenges they communicated during the sales process. You have to deliver on your promises to get referrals.
  • Find a way to educate the customer on the benefits of the referral program. Share how it works, and how it benefits them, and make sure you’re consistently providing clear instruction on how to refer others. When customers understand your program clearly, they’ll be more likely to refer others. 
  • Timing is critical. If you ask too soon, you come across as disingenuous and pushy. If you wait too long, you might miss the window of when they were the happiest. Find the sweet spot to ask and ask tactfully. 
  • Don’t ask for a referral too early in the customer relationship. Asking too early might damage the relationship.
  • Don’t assume that a customer is satisfied. Salespeople often mistake silence for happiness. Check-in and survey your customer consistently to make sure they’re happy and have what they need before you ask for a referral.
  • Don’t be insincere. Try not to be pushy. Don’t offer incentives that might come across as inappropriate or unethical. Some organizations have specific requirements or rules around what someone can receive for referrals, so be aware of that. 

Learn more from Nick in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Nick Kane

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Jamie Crosbie is a highly accomplished senior executive and motivational speaker with expertise in sales leadership, talent acquisition, and management. She has achieved significant revenue growth, managed large sales teams, authored books, and consults in sales talent acquisition, strategic planning, and Peak Performance Mindset® Workshops. Jamie's workshops help companies set new sales records and create a more positive sales environment.

Apr 5, 2023

People who refer someone to you are your greatest advocates. When you cultivate happy customers, you create an army of salespeople working for you. But how do you ask for referrals? Is there a certain time in the client lifecycle that’s the best to ask? How do you let a referral source know they’re appreciated? Jame Crosbie answers these questions—and much more—in the first episode of our new series on referral selling. Don’t miss it! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:04] What are referrals? How do they work in sales?
  • [1:54] Common mistakes salespeople make asking for referrals
  • [3:28] How salespeople can leverage social media to generate referrals
  • [4:09] Jamie’s advice for those exploring referral-based selling 
  • [5:04] How to measure the success of a referral program
  • [6:12] Best Practices: The right way to ask for client referrals
  • [8:48] The role technology plays in referral selling
  • [9:42] Jamie’s top 3 referral selling dos and don’ts
  • [11:48] Why adding value should be your #1 priority

Common mistakes salespeople make asking for referrals

Jamie points out that people don’t usually ask for referrals at the right time. You can’t ask for a referral until you’ve proven the value of your product or service. The other mistake is not asking for a specific referral. You can’t say, “If I can help anyone else, just let me know.” 

Instead, identify your ideal client profile and ask them if there’s anyone else in their organization or network that you can add value for. The last mistake Jamie often sees is that salespeople neglect to let their clients know that they appreciate their referral. That’s why Jamie advocates for a referral fee program.

How salespeople can leverage social media to generate referrals

You have to be a thought leader in the space where the people you’re trying to attract live. That lends you credibility. It might be posting blogs on LinkedIn or sharing marketplace data related to your industry or field. Maybe you’re a guest on a podcast. But you have to share things so they see you as a leader in your space.

Best Practices: The right way to ask for client referrals

Start with a strategy: Develop relationships with people who also seek out your ideal client. Put together a referral program, fee structure, and strategically go after those relationships as if they were a client for you. They become part of your sales team. 

Jamie likes to share testimonials and case studies with clients. She’ll then say something like “I’d love to add value like this to your network as well.” You must always make sure the conversation is geared toward adding value for their business. 

In every piece of positive communication, ask these questions:

  • How else can I add value for you?
  • Who else do you believe I could impact?

Always ask for the opportunity to make a bigger impact. Identify who has a similar client profile and get a touchpoint and strategy in place.

Secondly, stay in communication with your clients but avoid making every conversation about asking for a referral. 

How to measure the success of a referral program

86% of Jamie’s business is from referrals. It’s significant. But she’s well aware that it takes time to build referral-based sales. But Jamie also looks at client growth. Why? Your ICP might be a regional sales manager. That person’s organization may have 10+ other regional managers all working through different circumstances. Maybe one of them is about to be promoted. How could you impact them or their growth? 

What are Jamie’s top 3 referral selling dos and don’ts? Why is offering value her #1 priority? Listen to the whole episode to learn more! 

Connect with Jamie Crosbie

Connect With Paul Watts 

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