I recently scored a meeting with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. It took me one call to get on his calendar. Why? I received a referral introduction from his trusted friend and advisor.
During our 30-minute call, I learned what this CEO expected from salespeople and what initiatives he was driving. He referred me to his Global VP, who has been more than willing to help me make connections within the company.
That’s the beauty of referral selling.
When you get referrals, you:
Bypass the gatekeeper and score meetings with decision-makers every time.
Earn trust and credibility with your prospects, who are pre-sold on your ability to deliver results.
Convert prospects into clients at least 50 percent of the time (usually more than 70 percent).
Land clients who become ideal referral sources for new business.
Score more new clients from fewer leads (because all of your leads are qualified).
Meet with hot prospects while your competitors are still figuring out how to get in.
The business case for referrals is loud and clear. Decision-makers will always meet with salespeople who’ve been referred by people they know and trust. If your competition gets to the decision-maker first, you might be out of the game. But when you get referrals, you win.
A referral isn’t a referral without an introduction
A referral means you receive a personal introduction to your prospect, not just a name and contact information. Without an introduction, your outreach is ice cold. The prospect doesn’t know you and doesn’t expect to hear from you.
I’ve heard sales experts say it takes seven to 10 touches for most reps to reach prospects. Is that how you want to spend your selling time? Sure, sometimes it works, but everything changes when you receive an introduction. All it takes is one call or email from your prospect’s trusted friend or colleague, and you’ve scored a meeting.
When you receive a referral introduction, you create a business opportunity that is yours to win. You meet with a potential client, or with someone who may become your advocate within his organization. Either way, you start the conversation with someone on your side.