The Modern Selling Podcast
How To Use Referral Selling To Drive Qualified Leads And Generate Sales, with Joanne Black, Episode #126
Sep 12, 2019 · 55 min
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Referral Selling: It sounds like the holy grail of lead generation and customer acquisition, and my guest on this episode of #SellingWithSocial insists that it is all of that and more. Joanne Black says that getting referrals is a matter of building a systematic approach that eliminates the need for cold calling and puts truly qualified leads into the pipeline. Joanne has made it her business to become the foremost expert on referral selling and during this conversation, we discuss why sales teams don’t make the most of referrals, how referral selling is done incorrectly, and what can be done to develop a referral selling culture that drives your sales organization. 

Joanne speaks at sales meetings and conferences around the world, presenting the content she shares on this episode as part of her signature talk “Referrals Are Retro: How to Build a Referral Culture in a Digital World." Be sure you listen! 

This episode is brought to you by Gong.io, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to http://bit.ly/gongio to get started.

Referrals Are The Fastest Driver Of Revenue

You may not be aware of this fact, but referrals are the number one driver of revenue. The reason they are is simple: When you receive a referral you’ve been handed a gift-wrapped warm lead from someone who has already earned the trust of that lead. As you reach out to that referral, you're riding on the trust the referrer has already established. That gives you a huge competitive advantage when it comes to closing more deals.

So, when you call to set an appointment with a referral, you get the meeting. But even more important, when you get referrals by asking the right questions you can be assured that every single one of those referrals is a QUALIFIED lead added to your pipeline.

In this episode, Joanne shares how you should ask for referrals and reveals the exact questions you should ask to qualify those referrals. In fact, if you listen you'll hear Joanne put ME on the hotseat as I offer my own qualifying questions and receive Jonanne’s critique. She sets me straight more than once! Listen to learn how you can increase your referral skills by asking the right questions.

Do You Believe These Common Misconceptions About Selling By Referral?

Though most sales leaders agree that selling by referral is the best way to gain qualified leads, most of the members of their teams are NOT getting referrals consistently. Why is that? Joanne says there are a handful of myths about referrals that cause most of the problem.

Myth 1: Telling salespeople to get referrals is all you need

Myth 2: Selling by referral takes too long

Myth 3: It’s not appropriate to ask clients for referrals because they pay you

Myth 4: Referral selling is easy 

In this conversation, Joanne reveals why each of these myths is wrong and explains what can be done to dispel them and create a referral generating culture in your sales organization.

The Best Process To Build Referral Sales

During this conversation, Joanne points out that sales leaders can’t simply tell their reps to ask for referrals and expect it to happen. It won’t. You’ve got to have a systematic approach to referrals that makes the practice part of your organization's selling DNA. She calls it a "referral selling process."

Here are the 3 steps Joanne says must be a part of every referral selling process:

1 - Strategy - this includes setting clear achievable goals, time frames, and methods of measurement.

2 -Skills - this includes learning HOW to ask for referrals, what kind of referrals to ask for, and how to qualify the referrals you receive.

3 - Execution - this includes involving the people in your organization who are willing to learn, willing to be accountable, and open to being coached through the process.

If you take Joanne’s advice and truly focus on your referral approach, you’ll see referrals become your leading source of qualified leads and sales conversions. So listen to this episode to find out exactly how to coach your sales team to effective referral selling.

The Biggest Missed Opportunity For Referrals: Current Clients

When I asked Joanne to tell me the biggest missed opportunity for referrals, she didn’t hesitate. It’s current clients. To illustrate, she tells the story of how, at a recent speaking engagement, she asked the sales leaders in the room how many of them had asked 100% of their current customers for a referral. Nobody raised their hand. She asked again, how many had asked half of their current clients for a referral? A few hands went up. When she asked how many had never asked their current clients for a referral, most hands were raised.

That story reveals the pot of gold available to every organization in its existing customer base. You have the untapped advantage of trust-based relationships with customers who would most likely be happy to tell others about their experience with you.

Who better to introduce you to future ideal customers than those who are already benefiting from and enjoying your services? Listen as Joanne peels back the layers to help you overcome the fear of asking for referrals and increase your ability to secure qualified leads and close more deals through referral selling.

This episode is brought to you by Gong.io, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to http://bit.ly/gongio to get started.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:48] How getting fired pushed Joanne into consulting and referral sales expertise
  • [8:22] A pandemic in sales: the inability to generate referrals
  • [10:34] Why have companies missed the referral selling opportunity?
  • [22:12] What does it take to build a referral culture?
  • [31:55] Big misconceptions about referral selling and how to build the referral sales skill
  • [48:37] Why customers are a pot of gold for future sales relationships
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