Harness the Power of Referrals

Last week Fire Enterprises (FEI), Sales Tribe Leader Zoot went over some tips for effective phone prospecting with Sales Apprentice Ganymede. This week, Zoot teaches Ganymede how to wield one of the most important tools in any salesperson’s toolbox: referrals. Remember, fire = print.

Ganymede came by Zoot’s office one bright January morning.

“Guess what?” Ganymede asked. “Kuppy from Kuppy’s Koffee just called—he’s so pleased with our torches that he wants to refer us to his brother Carl, who runs Carl’s Chariot Cleaning in South Olympus!”

“Wonderful!” Zoot said. “Referrals are powerful, reliable drivers of new business. The easiest way to find people who need our fire services is to ask those who already use them! Referrals are the low-hanging fruit that become valuable customers, as they’re essentially pre-qualified prospects who have built-in positive connotations of FEI.”

“I’m a little green on referral best practices,” Zoot admitted. “Can you enlighten me?”

“With pleasure!” Zoot began scribbling on the whiteboard in his office.

Put Yourself in Position
“You belong to NAFUB (National Association of Fire-Using Businesses), right?” Zoot asked.

“Of course,” Ganymede said.

“Then how come I’ve never seen you at a meeting or networking event?” Zoot asked. “Be sure to attend these regularly, as the networking opportunities there are an effective breeding ground for referrals.”

Zoot returned to the whiteboard:

Build on Happy Customer Experiences
“It sounds simplistic, but the best way to get a referral is to ask for one,” Zoot said. “Make it a goal to contact every customer within a week of their project’s delivery. Satisfied customers will often be more than happy to supply a referral.”

“Any more referral tips up your toga sleeve?” Ganymede asked.

“You bet. But first, I’ve gotta get breakfast. Hmm, Demeter’s Café is closed today—Ganymede, can you refer me to another good breakfast place around town?”

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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