Why are referrals the best sales strategy?
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10 questions that get you endless referrals
Referrals are the single most important and effective method of sales and marketing. They blow every other strategy out of the water – email marketing, deals, offers, adverts, events, letters, cold calling - you name it, referrals beat it. Referrals are easier to interact with, they have a higher closure rate, are less concerned about price and you have to do less prospecting.
So why are referrals so brilliant?
Consider for a moment what you do when you buy something new whether that be a product or service. Chances are for 90% of you reading this blog the first thing you’ll do is ask your family, friends, co-workers and network for recommendations and referrals. A further 78% of you will then go on to purchase from a referred source! That’s an incredible percentage of people who’s buying decisions are influenced by those directly around them.
People are more likely to purchase from a referred source because the recommendation comes grounded in trust. When you’re recommended a product or service by a family member, friend or co-worker you’re less likely to feel like you’re being misled or deceived because the referrer will not want to intentionally break that bond of trust with you. Therefore, they’re only going to refer products or services they truly believe in.
That’s why it’s so important to invest time in getting “Endless Referrals”. But how do you do that?
The sphere of influence
According to the book Endless Referrals by Bob Burg, the best way to get referrals is to build a strong network.
Networking by definition is “an arrangement of people crossed at regular intervals by other people, all of whom are cultivating mutually beneficial, give-and-take, win-win relationships with each other”.
According to Joe Girard, a guy who made it into the Guinness Book of World Records by selling more cars than anyone else in the world for 14 consecutive years, everyone has what he terms a “sphere of influence’ of around 250 people.
That means within your network you influence around 250 people and for each person, you add to your network you gain 250 indirect contacts. If you do the maths that’s roughly 62,500 indirect contacts! You can start to see why developing a strong network is so important.
The stronger, closer and more trusting a network you have the more likely you are to gain a steady flow of referrals. The more people within your network who know, like and trust you the more likely they are to refer you. This is based on the core principle from “Endless Referrals” that “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to those people they know, like and trust.
The challenge is developing those trusting relationships.
Questions, listening and conversations are some of the most underrated forms of communication. You’d be amazed at just how much trust can be built by asking questions, listening to answers and responding.
It sounds simple but asking the right questions is key. You must initiate a conversation that the other person enjoys. Don’t be salesy; ask genuine, feel good and friendly questions. Questions that people have fun answering.
This is why “Endless Referrals” is such a brilliant book because it outlines “Ten Networking Questions that Work Every time”. Questions that are designed to be feel-good, friendly and fun. You shouldn’t use all these questions in one conversation as you might come off a bit over the top, but two or three are the perfect start to genuinely engage with someone.
Ten Networking Questions that Work Every time.
These are the ten questions recommended in “Endless Referrals”. All of these questions can be used and tailored to fit any particular scenario:
- How did you start in the… business?
- What do you enjoy most about your profession?
- What separates you and your company from the competition?
- What advice would you give someone just starting in the … business?
- What one thing would you do with your business if you knew you couldn’t fail?
- What significant changes have taken place in your profession over the years?
- What do you see as the coming trends in… business?
- Describe the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in your business?
- What ways have you found to be most effective at promoting your business?
- What one sentence would you like people to use when describing how you do business?
The best, happiest and most genuine networkers who receive the most referrals always put the needs of other people ahead of their own. That means always working your hardest to delight customers and offer true value.
If you need support developing your own genuine, authentic and value-based referrals strategy, call us on 01905 915596 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin your sales journey.