Sales and Sales Management Blog

June 9, 2007

Cure for a Slump

Filed under: prospecting,Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 9:14 am

Are you in a sales slump?  Are you desperately seeking some way to find a cure?  Here is a quick shot in the arm tactic I use with many of my new coaching clients that almost always works to generate quick business.  This isn’t a cure all, but it can bring in some quick sales and the psychological boost it gives helps to get you back on track.

Two of my new clients have used this within the past week and a half and both have had tremendous results.

Examine your list of family, friends, business associates and acquaintances.  Which one is the one most likely to be able to refer you to several people you know you want to be referred to?  Do a little research and make a list of 15 to 25 people you know you want to be referred to that, you think this person knows.  This does take some effort as you’ll have to find out what organizations, associations, past employers, etc. your proposed referrer belongs to.  Once you have your list of the associations and past employers, you’ll have to investigate these to determine whom within those groups you want a referral to. 

Once you have your list, approach your proposed referrer.  Explain that you aren’t approaching him or her to sell them—take the pressure off them immediately.  This isn’t a sales call.  Instead, simply ask them if you might be able to ask them about a few people, they might know.  Then go over your list.  If you have a list of 15 to 25 people, they will probably know 5 to 10 of them.  Ask questions to find out as much as you can about the people they know on your list and exactly what their relationship is with those people.  Then, finally, ask if they would be willing to refer you to these people.  Almost without fail, if you have a good relationship with them, they’ll say yes and you’ll walk away with anywhere from 5 to 10, sometimes more, referrals to people you know you want to be referred to.

Then, don’t just go and call them.  Instead, write a letter to each for your referrer to sign recommending the prospect meet with you.  Send your letters two or three at a time and then follow up four or five days later with a phone call.  You should end up with somewhere between 3 and 8 appointments.

Once you’ve met with these prospects, approach another friend or acquaintance and do the same thing again.

Why does this work when simply asking friends, family and acquaintance for referrals doesn’t work?  For several reasons.  First, it takes the pressure off the potential referrer—they know you’re not going to try to sell them and they don’t have to think of who to refer you to (by the way, after you go over your list, they’ll probably bring up other people that you weren’t on your list).  Your family, friends and acquaintances really don’t know who a quality referral for you is—so if you come prepared with a list, it takes the work out of their hands and shows them exactly the type of person or company you’re looking for.  Secondly, by coming with a prepared list, they understand that you’re serious.  Third, it is much more difficult for someone to say “no” to a specific request than it is to simply say, “I don’t know of anyone.”

As mentioned previously, this isn’t a cure all—unless you happen to know enough people to keep your business going forever.  However, it is a quick shot in the arm, and if you learn how to generate a large number of high quality referrals from each of your clients, this can transform your business in a relatively short period of time.

Advertisements
TrackBack URI

Blog at WordPress.com.