Referrals used to be the ‘redheaded stepchild’ of the sales process.
Back in the day (and even with some organizations selling products and services even now) referrals were philosophically relegated to the back bin of the sales pitch. They were (and still are) seen as the fallback position of a sales person who “can’t close” with a prospective customer.
But, now that technology has stolen the one thing that separated a sales representative from the rest of us—information about a product or service—referrals are increasingly seen as the only way forward to even talking to a prospect in the first place.
When I attend meetings and when I network, I talk about what I do very briefly and wait for two things to happen:
- The story of what I do to catch up to the other person’s story of what I do
- The other person to decide that what I do is “too hard for them to explain to someone else.”
At that point, where both of those stories intersect, that is where the referral light begins to shine in their eyes.
Some products and services work better with interruptive marketing, poor customer service and pushy, insistent selling. In many sectors, the number of those products and services are decreasing by the day. There are other products and services that work better based on relationship, stories, referrals and networked connections. The number of those are increasing by the day.
For some of us, this is a scary prospect and there are multiple ways to address those fears. For those of us not bound to dogma and ready to take a chance to do some things that might not scale (i.e. might not “sell”) this is an exhilarating prospect.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com