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Ways to Get More Referrals

Ways to Get More Referrals
Copyright © Craig Warren

When you are in the business of sales, among the many key
ingredients to your success is receiving referrals from as
many sources as possible.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every morning you walked into your
office and had a referral sitting there waiting for you on
your desk?

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, but here are few
suggestions that should help steer some referrals your

Referral Groups

There are many referral groups out there for you to choose
from. The premise of a referral group is first and foremost
to receive and give referrals.

It works something like this…

Once a week your referral group meets at a designated spot
for breakfast or lunch, and the meeting typically lasts for
an hour to an hour and a half.

These groups normally don’t allow for any kind of conflict
between industries, so you will most likely be the only one
representing your industry. For instance there is only one
banker, one printer, one loan officer and so on.

In the beginning you spend some time catching up and
exchanging business cards. As you are eating, each person
is given a minute or two to take the floor and talk about
themselves and the company that they work for, and give the
group an idea of what a good referral would be for them.

Look at it from this point of view, if your group has
twenty-five or more people in it, then consider it a sales
force working for you. Don’t forget, you are required to give
referrals also.

Chambers of Commerce

Every city, town, or county has a Chamber of Commerce.
They are not hard to find, and they are fairly simple to
join. You can easily find your local chapter on the web or
in the yellow pages. They also advertise in local business
directories and news papers.

The chamber is a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
They meet once a week usually with a luncheon at a local
restaurant. The first half hour is a network and business
card exchange, followed by lunch with announcements
about upcoming events, and a guest speaker.

Before hand, tables are provided to display your literature
and props, and be on hand to discuss your business.

Chambers also hold annual events that you can participate
in. Their events are normally held in the form of business
expositions where you can rent a booth to display and sell
your products.

Chambers normally have a lot of members depending upon
the location, so you will probably find yourself competing
for business with other people in your industry.

This can be very beneficial to your business. These
organizations are great for meeting people as well.

Keep in mind, these organizations come with very
reasonable annual fees, so make sure it fits your budget.

Giving Referrals

Perhaps one of the best ways to get referrals is to give
referrals. If you give someone a referral and it works out
for them, they will love you and remember you forever.
And in turn, send referrals back your way.

I have to say, throughout my time online, I found this
to be one very effective way to get referrals. You might
want to consider teaming up with someone with a similar
job in your industry. For instance, if you are a loan
officer, team up with a realtor, or if you are a home
inspector, you might team up with an appraiser.

These are some very effective ways to keep those referrals
coming your way. They have worked for me, and I have found
them to be a nice way to break up my week, and build
relationships with other business people in my community.
Give it a shot. You wont be disappointed.

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A Sales Culture

A Sales Culture
Copyright © Craig Warren

Hopefully you’ve taken the time to clarify the roles of
your sales team and sales management. It’s a valuable
exercise. Now you get to assess sales team strategy and
culture. Regardless of your methodology half of your sales
representatives currently perform below average. Fifty
percent are performing below average! Think about that.
This is an indisputable fact. So why even assess the team?
Simply put, to sell more.

Successful selling organizations consist of three components;
investment, activity and results. The first component is the
investment in the sales team. The investment is measured in
compensation, benefits, computers, software, training, hiring,
meetings, sales material, phones and other related expenses.

The second element is the activity of the investment. Face-to-face
meetings, travel, preparation, telephone calls and administration
comprise the second element. The third, and vital, component stands
alone; results. How many sales were generated? Profits? Current
market share?

The glue that binds the three distinct parts includes your people,
culture and customers. Is there a career path for salespeople? What
is your turnover rate? Who are the sales heroes? What is driving the
team to achieve?

The best sales managers and sales teams recognize four productivity

1. Sales research-information related to market trends, target markets,
customers, trends, etc.

2. Investment and organization-size, structure and deployment of sales
team allows you to get the right people at the right place at the right

3. People-selection, training, managing, motivating, evaluation and

4. Sales systems and processes-compensation, incentives, benefits,
internal support, etc.

Tests and surveys remain the most effective way to assess salespeople.
Companies rarely assess sales management instead relying on results to
determine effectiveness.

A successful selling organization operates in a progressive culture.
What’s a culture? That’s best answered by the following story.

Six apes were placed in a room with a ladder. A bunch of bananas hung from
the center of the room. One ape started to climb the ladder for the fruit
and the entire room was showered with cold water. This happened a few times
until any ape that wandered near the ladder was beat up by other apes. A new
guy replaced one of the original apes. The new guy, wanting to be a hero,
headed for the ladder and received a thorough beating. He learned not to go
near the ladder. Eventually every one of the original apes was replaced. The
beatings continued. The replacement apes were unaware why they were
prohibiting others from going near the ladder. They just knew the ladder was

That’s a culture. Are there any new apes on your team following old practices
without knowing why? Cultures evolve over time and their origins are rarely
known. Does your sales team have a culture? I bet it does. Is it a good one?
Sales cultures consist of three elements:

Norms-how individuals actually behave.

Values-how individuals should behave.

Work styles-diligent, tardy, professional, thorough, detailed, casual?

Changing negative cultures represents a significant challenge but is
mandatory if you want to stay in business. People are the agents of change
and must be supported by management. Who are the heroes of your sales team?
How long have they been the department hero and for what reason? Knowing these
answers will help you assess your culture.

You must first formulate your vision of the sales team and evaluate all key
contributing factors. Great companies communicate their vision clearly and
frequently with all sales related personnel. Don’t leave anyone out that comes
in contact with your sales team.

Next, you must put your vision in action by rewarding individuals for acting
in concordance with your vision. This is a process not a destination but as
it evolves your sales will increase and profits will soar.

This takes courage. You need to ask and answer tough questions. Dedication to
a better selling team is required. Don’t give up until your vision is clarified,
communicated and leads to rewarding the winners.

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