Sales and Sales Management Blog

November 20, 2009

An Immodest Proposal

The holidays are upon us and many of you sales leaders may be wondering what you might get for your team members.  Certainly there’s the typical take ‘em out for lunch or maybe a drink a day or two before Christmas.  Maybe you plan on doing what most team leaders do—nothing other than wish them a Merry Christmas.

Well, I have an immodest proposal for you.  Why not get them something that is inexpensive but that will significantly increase their production next year?  That’s a win/win situation since it will increase both your and their income, make you both look good, your sales reports will shine, and you just might get that promotion you’ve been wanting—all for about $15 per team member.

So what’s going to do all of this for only $15?

I suggest you purchase each of your team members a copy of my book, Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income: Sales Success through Client Referrals. (Wiley, 2007)

No, the title doesn’t claim that every one of your team members will be making a million dollars a year after reading it.  The title comes from how the book’s referral process was developed.  I interviewed 47 sellers across the US and Canada who each make a minimum of a million dollars a year and who generate the majority of business from referrals from their clients.  I wanted to know what they were doing to be so successful with referrals while most sellers were struggling to get even a few great referrals a year.

What I found, not surprisingly, is they don’t ask for referrals like most of have been taught, but instead generate referrals by working closely with their clients to earn the right to get referrals and then to identify highly qualified prospects for the client to refer them to.

That’s the crux of the book—the disciplined process they use to generate a large number of high quality referrals from each of their clients.

Best of all, it’s a process you and your team members can learn and implement to greatly increase the number and quality of referrals you and your team members get.

A Few Book Endorsements and Reviews:

David Straker,

“In the end, the joy that earns this book a rare five stars is the practical, thorough and innovative treatment of referrals that can have literally massive benefit to anyone, not just in sales, who wants to connect with valued other people.

Quite simply the best book on gaining and using referrals.”


From Dave Stein’s Review of Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income

“Here is my recommendation for sales leaders. (A full-fledged plan will contain considerably more detail—this is just a starting point….) 

  1. If your sales team hasn’t been effectively leveraging existing customers for referrals, determine why. 
  2. Benchmark the level at which referrals business is being converted to sales.
  3. If the reason is that (you and) your salespeople don’t know how, invest in this book.
  4. Take the time to study Paul’s referral process and his recommendations.
  5. Set an objective.  For example, referrals will be the source of 10% of our business next year.
  6. Devise a plan for adopting his process across your team.
  7. Build appropriate coursework, tools, coaching mechanisms.  (This is a difficult proposition for a busy sales manager.  You probably don’t have either the time or the skills. I’m sure Paul would be delighted to engage with you on this…)
  8. Train your team or get them trained.
  9. Deploy the process, measure results against your benchmark and objective and refine.”


CRM Magazine

“required reading.”


Rolf Dobelli, get abstract

You can keep working hard all alone clearing stumps and moving rocks with your current approach, or move to more fertile ground where your best clients can make your life easier by helping you find new clients just like them. getAbstract recommends this book to any professional who needs to sell . . . .”


Frank Rumbauskas, NY Times best-selling author of Never Cold Call

“Having spent over ten years as a top-producing sales rep, and now having spent over four years teaching and training salespeople – and having read hundreds of sales books in that time – I can tell you that Paul McCord’s book is hands-down THE BEST book on referral selling ever written!”


AllBooks Reviews

“Salespeople from every industry will find this a useful and comprehensive sales referral guide. Chapter after chapter of excellent advice that dispels myth and rumor related to referral selling.”


Dave Lakani, best-selling author and coach

“This book lays out in systematic detail the most effective selling and referral system I’ve seen. It doesn’t make getting referrals easy but it does make getting them predictable.

Even though I consider myself a good referral sales generator, I cringed more than a little at the mistakes I identified while reading this book and how much money I left on the table through missed sales and missed opportunities.

I also like this book because it is a quick read with plenty of great examples, the author doesn’t belabor points to fill space, he just gets right to the point . . . so you can implement and earn.

Excellent book, I highly recommend it.”


Selling Power Magazine, Sales Management Newsletter

“Referrals are a tricky business if you don’t know what you’re doing – and many reps don’t. Many say they don’t want to ask for referrals because they don’t want to irritate a customer with whom they have good rapport. Or, in an effort to be casual about it, they ask in such an oh-by-the-way manner that the customer quickly dismisses it. Or they ask once and drop it. And none of these approaches will result in good, solid referrals.

So what’s the answer? Referrals must be an integral part of your sales approach, from first contact through post-sale. (McCord’s) PWWR system addresses the issues that keep most sales people from generating large numbers of quality referrals.”


Forbes Book Club

Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income: Sales Success through Client Referrals was, I’m proud to say, selected as an offering of the prestegious Forbes Book Club.  Unfortunately within months of my book’s selection the book club closed  I’m hopeful–and fairely sure–that selecting my book wasn’t the cause of them going out of business.


You can find Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income: Sales Success through Client Referrals at all find booksellers, including:


Barnes and Noble

My website

Want the audio book instead?  It’s Here



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charles H. Green, Paul McCord. Paul McCord said: an immodest proposal for sellers and sales leaders […]

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