Referrals: The Most Under-Used Route to Winning New Customers
Do you have a referral program at your company?
Every printing company should be looking for introductions to potential new customers. Referrals should be a key part of any salesperson’s activity. The trouble is that many people forget to ask for referrals.
What are referrals?
A referral is someone that is recommended to you by a contact. Your contact is giving you the referral’s details and the permission to get in touch with this person. Ideally they are also introducing you so that the referral knows who you are and is receptive to your call.
Why should you use referrals?
If you use referrals in the right way, you will achieve a good pipeline of warm leads. Instead of making cold calls, you will be contacting people who are aware of you. These people will be more open to creating a worthwhile relationship with you. That means you’ll have better control over your sales results.
Here’s an example of how a referral can work effectively
I recently carried out some work for a charity. I saved them a lot of money. When my project was finished I spoke to the head of marketing. I reminded them of the great outcome of our project. Then I asked if they would be prepared to refer me? I said that I was looking for marketing contacts at similar charities. This was because I felt that I might be able to improve their print purchasing processes in that same way that I had helped the charity.
The head of marketing asked to think about it for a couple of days. Then they rang me back with two names that they felt were worth me contacting. When I asked, the head of marketing agreed to give them a ring on my behalf. Then they sent an e-mail of introduction.
I contacted both the referrals soon after. I had a long discussion with one, and we agreed that the fit was not right. However, at least I had the chance to thoroughly explore how we might work together. The other referral invited me in for a meeting and I will soon be starting a project with them. Using referrals had made it a quick and simple process to win a new client.
Set yourself referral targets
Many sales people have targets. They are based on cold calling, meetings and creating quotes. But few have a referral target.
It is not hard to win five referrals a week. It is a task that should not take much time. If you can do this, then you may well find yourself winning a lot of new business.
Look out for my next article
I’ll cover three ways to ask for referrals that most people ignore.
P.S. Find out more ideas on how to increase sales with today’s buyers: download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” right now at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/ You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively. Also, for more practical sales tips like this, check out my guide on “How To Improve Your Print Sales In 23 Minutes A Week” – it includes a detailed ten-step guide to winning successful referrals.
Many printing companies are frustrated how hard it is to engage buyers in today’s world. That’s where Matthew Parker can help. He is a gamekeeper turned poacher. Parker has bought print for more than 20 years and received over 1,400 print sales pitches. He now uses his buyer’s point of view to give practical advice to printers. He helps them engage with prospects and customers to create profitable relationships.
Download his free e-book, "Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them" and check out his recently launched book, "How To Succeed At Print Sales: Setting targets, planning the right activities and making sure goals are met."