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The building blocks of referral selling

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When it comes to referral selling, are you “all in” or just trying it on for size? Unless you have a systematic, disciplined program in place to ensure your reps are asking for referrals from every single client, your team is likely leaving money on the table. 

So what does it take to implement an effective referral program ASAP?

1. Attitude

Committing to a referral program begins with a shift in attitude. You must be unwavering in your commitment because others will try to talk you out of it. They will tell you referral selling takes too long, that you still need to cold call, that it seems too “touchy-feely.” Rubbish! Arm yourself against such concerns with referral-selling data. Demonstrate your own confidence in the power of referral selling. If you’re not committed to the process, your team won’t be either.

2. Process

I’m the first person to run screaming from the room when people talk about the need for “process.” It drives me nuts. As a salesperson, I just want to be with my clients. I don’t want to memorize a routine that doesn’t fit in with my buyer’s situation. I don’t want to fill out a lot of paperwork. I just want to do my job.

That being said, I have great respect for a strategic process, one I believe will actually help me sell more. I’m willing to take certain essential steps if they’ll increase my chances of making more sales. The same goes for your team: They may fight the process at first but only until they see the commission checks from all those referred prospects.

My experience in helping hundreds of organizations shift to referral selling is that we can all do better if we consistently follow a straightforward methodology. You do need a process. Build your team’s skills, help them get over any discomfort around asking for referrals, establish new metrics and integrate referral selling into the way they work.

The truth is that transitioning to referral selling can be hard work. But once you have a referral system in place, your sales will take off and your team will thank you for ensuring they never have to cold call again.

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