Harness the Power of Referrals (Part II)

Last week Fire Enterprises (FEI), Sales Tribe Leader Zoot taught Ganymede how to wield one of the most important tools in any salesperson’s toolbox: referrals. This week, Zoot gives Ganymede more tips for leveraging referrals effectively. Remember, fire = print.

After Ganymede and Zoot finished their delicious breakfast at Phosporus Pastries, they headed back to FEI headquarters.

“I’d love to hear the rest of your tips for leveraging referral opportunities,” Ganymede said.

“Ah, I remember what you’re referring to,” Zoot said.

“Boy, that’s getting old,” Ganymede said.

Zoot scribbled on the whiteboard:

Play by Your Referrer’s Rules
“If you receive a referral, be sure to ask the referring person or company how they wish the introduction to be made,” Zoot said. “A customer may want to make the introduction in person or place other conditions on the referral. If so, be patient and don’t press for information; treat the referral as you would any other valuable sales opportunity.”

“One last tip before I set you free to pursue referrals on your own,” Zoot said. He scribbled more on the whiteboard:

Show Your Thanks
“Show that you appreciate referrals by sending handwritten thank-you notes to customers and industry friends who have referred FEI,” Zoot said. “This should be done even if the referral doesn’t lead to new work. The personal touch and token of appreciation will more than pay for itself in the long run.”

“I feel like I just got a Master’s course in referrals!” Ganymede said exuberantly.

“Well, I am the Master,” said Zoot, who was never big on modesty.

Next week: Zoot shows Ganymede how to turn chance encounters into new business.

Today’s FIRE! Point
When receiving referrals, remember to play by the referrer’s rules, treating the referral as you would any valuable sales opportunity. Also, be sure to show that you appreciate referrals by sending handwritten thank-you notes to customers and industry friends who have referred your business.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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