Depending on where you are in your career, cold calls may not be one of your highest-priority activities. But in any case, introductions must be a major part of your sales strategy.
First, let’s clarify why I love the term “introduction” and dislike the term “referral.” It’s very simple: referral is just a vague buzzword in the sales world. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve asked for referrals only to get a letter of recommendation.
However, when you ask for an introduction, there is no question about what you want. We’re in the business of getting introductions. Stop asking for anything else. What I’ve found is that clients are happy to introduce you to others if they have received value from your relationship.
It is a no-brainer to ask clients for introductions. Happy clients know other like-minded people, so it should be easy to grow exponentially if you have a solid client base. So why aren’t most salespeople getting introductions?
Most salespeople have a subconscious fear that clients will get angry or annoyed if asked to make an introduction. This is unfounded and is costing most salespeople a substantial amount of money.
I have asked for thousands of introductions in my career. And do you know how many clients I’ve lost because of it?
None. It’s time to get past the irrational fear of asking clients for introductions. Just think of how much business you’ve lost just this past year by not asking every single client and business associate you know for an introduction.
I expect my clients to introduce me to everyone they possibly can. Of course, in most cases, a typical client knows less than four ideal prospects for me, but that’s not bad. Let’s explore the math.
If every client of mine introduces me to two solid prospects per year and I close sales with half of those people, I will essentially double my business every year by merely asking for introductions. So get out there and start asking your clients for introductions to people they know. Be sure to check back to the next post to learn exactly how to do this…
Written by Marc Wayshak, author of Game Plan Selling and a sales coach.