Referrals are the golden ticket to B2B sales success. With referred leads, it’s easier to set appointments and have productive business discussions because a level of trust is already established. These sales tips will help increase pipeline flow.
Of course there are thousands of articles, blogs, and books on this topic but the bottom line is this:
So we’ve put together our favorite sales tips to getting more referrals. We’re leaving off the obvious required qualities (great product, excellant support, honest & trustworthy) and diving deeper into the specifics.
#1. Continuously drip market referrals
If referrals are important to you, they need to become part of your culture. You don’t always need to be asking for referrals but you do want to associate yourself with the culture of referred leads. Talk about them on the phone, through email, social, during demos, etc. Outwardly communicate the value of referrals and you’ll find they come to you more often.
#2. Just ask for introductions, not new businesses
Don’t make it sound so official & formal. Just ask people for recommendations of others who fit your ideal buyer profile. “Hey John, we’ve got a killer new feature coming out that does X & Y. Which other marketing execs do you think would find this interesting?”
#3. Give before you get.
Be that person – the referral giver. It’s not just karma, it’s reality. Referral givers are more enjoyable to associate with and leave the impression of the referral culture on those whom they come in contact with. Plus it makes life more enjoyable when you’re helping others.
#4. Make it super easy
Do the work for your referrer and send a forward-able introduction. If you make it super easy for your contact to introduce you to someone else, they will do it quicker and with a higher level of frequency.
#5. Use timing to your advantage
Always be on the lookout for the best times to ask for a referral. Did you just get praised via an email? Did somebody just write an awesome tweet or LinkedIn update about your service. If so, that’s a perfect time to ask them for an introduction to somebody who fits your customer profile. Which brings us to #6…
#6. Know your customer profile
Do you sell to CFO’s of publicly traded companies? VP’s of Sales for software companies? You’ll need to know precisely who you are looking for in order to not waste effort in referral generation.
#7. Have your script down cold
Find yourself at a networking event or trade-show and you don’t know where to take the conversation? Always have a go to line for this, as in “We’ve had a lot of success helping software companies improve their sales cycles by providing more prospect information. Who do you know who works on the revenue side of a software company?”
Have specific scripts for clients, partners, vendors, etc. to make the process of asking for referrals easier.
#8. Get to the right partners
Be intentional about this. Find other vendors who share mutual prospect profiles and have the same “give first” attitude. 1 great partner is better than 5 mediocre.
(Experts tip: use LinkedIn to find connections of the people you deal with, then ask them specifically: “I see you’re connected with Mary Smith, how well do you know her? Would you be willing to make an introduction?” our “I noticed you’re a member of the CFO executive roundtable…who else in that group should I get to know?”
#9. Create solid thought leadership content
Become a thought leader and others will want to share your message. Write an amazing blog post that helps your audience. Share it online and ask others to share it. If you can become known for helping people through your content, then they will send people you’re way for your products and solutions.