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Sales Strategy
Referral hacks: 10 Tips To Help You Win More Business
May 5, 2016 | Matt Heinz lock
1. Scripts & practice:  We tell our customer-facing people to ask for referrals but hardly tell them exactly how to do it. What talk track would you use?  Why not write it out for your reps and encourage them to both practice and modify it so that they’re more comfortable using it?  I’ve seen several examples of this simple tactic working wonders for the frequency of the “ask” as well as results.

2. Never use the LinkedIn tool:  No matter how warm the introduction, LinkedIn-facilitated referrals come across as cold and spammy. Use LinkedIn actively to identify points of connection, but then ask for the referral to happen through more natural channels such as phone or email.

3. Read Joanne Black: She’s seriously the queen of referral selling. Her book No More Cold Calling, in particular, is a must-read to better recognize proven referral sales strategies.

4. Read "To Sell Is Human":  This may be the most important sales book written in the past ten years, if for no other reason than how well it explains how real people connect with other real people on topics of mutual interest without feeling like they are closing or hard selling. A great, quick, and essential read.

5. Use value-added assets for introductions: Stop asking others to introduce you purely in a “you should use them” context. We know that most of our leads are qualified but not ready to buy, yet we treat referrals as if they’re eager to go! Instead, give your peers and referring partners something of value to share as a means of making the introduction. A great blog post you recently wrote, a
best practice guide, something that makes the referral easier and more natural.

6. Outro:  It used to be called QuotaDeck, but is a slick tool that helps make new introductions and referrals for you based on mutual needs and interests. It can even work on your behalf automatically behind the scenes to literally generate referrals for you while you sleep. Worth checking out.

7. Make yourself more shareable: How do you get people to share you to their networks more often? Content is one way. Great food pictures or recipes? Funny memes? A blend of all of the above? Find the right blend of these for you, and make it easier for others to tell their networks about you.

8. Use every department in the organization: Maybe the key to getting into your dream client is through your accountant. Maybe they’re married to the sibling of the key buyer. Don’t limit your referrals to your own network and those in your sales organization.

9. Be more aggressive with LinkedIn connections: Look at your calendar from yesterday.
Make sure you’re connecting with everyone. Even just a simple note like “Great to speak with you, I look forward to staying in touch” can over time exponentially increase the size, value, and referral yield of your own network.

10. Be precise about requests: Don’t just ask people to think about you for referrals. Look into their network, find 2-3 people you’d like introductions to, and ask for them specifically. This way it’s a task that can be completed vs. a generic and never-ending thing that will quickly be forgotten.

About the Author

Matt HeinzProlific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.  Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty. Matt is a repeat winner of Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management and Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.

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