So, you’ve done all the hard work on educating and training your referral team and it has produced referrals, however, let’s just clarify something – a referral does not automatically mean you have a sale.
If you have followed the Asentiv system and our 5-step process for referrals, then hopefully there is a high probability and it is better than from a traditional sales process but as with anything in life it is not guaranteed.
Remember – a referral is an opportunity to do business with someone you have been recommended to. If you are able to provide the solution to a need that the prospect is seeking and they are happy with you then you may have the privilege of doing business with them but you still have to get over that final line to confirm a contract.
The issue with this will revolve around your ability to sell. No matter how good you are at relationship marketing it is essential that you also have good sales skills. These sales skills will help you at every stage of the process and not just at closing the sale.
Dr Ivan Misner researched referrals versus sales in the early 90’s and found that 34% of referrals made between business owners resulted in recorded sales.
An interesting statistic but what does it mean for you as a business owner. It means that sales skills are important in the referral process and that some people are better at closing sales than others. You are thirty four percent more likely to make a sale if you get a referral, but you must have a good level of sales skills to get you over the final line.
So how do you transition from the referral to the sale? Here are 3 quick tips to help:
- Ensure you have all the information needed from the person who passed you the referral before you go into the meeting. Be fully prepared in terms of what has been said, what they are looking for and what the prospect is expecting.
- Make sure you don’t go in with any expectation of the sale. Try not to be to aggressive, indecisive or evasive with any questions or information during the meeting. The prospect is looking to whether they wish to work with you following a recommendation and are looking for respect, service and professionalism.
- It is your responsibility to persuade the prospect that your product or service is the right one for them and will provide the solution to their need. Mindset is important as people generally think of “sales people” as being pushy or aggressive. However, I like to think of sales as being able to provide the solution and being able to help and to serve my prospects. With this mindset you are looking to help and be congruent with your values.
If you are getting a steady stream of referrals but they are not converting as high as you would like then think about your sales process and if you are not comfortable in selling or have not had any sales training then please do give me a call or drop me an email and I am happy to discuss this and help refer you to people that can help.