Leadership, Sales

Kickstart your sales by 10% in record time. Guaranteed.

Kickstart your sales by 10% in record time. Guaranteed.

All businesses will benefit from an opportunity to grow sales and improve new lead generation. The title suggests that the sales boost would be a one-time thing, but this will position you to increase sales consistently for the long term. Get ready for a simple yet powerful way to Kickstart your sales and maintain the momentum.

Can you grow your business and sales faster without more expense?

I was a CEO for many years, but I am also a business nerd. It is not unusual for me to ask an executive or a small business owner this question: “Does your company ask for REFERRALS as a practice?” The initial response is usually yes until they realize they don’t do it.

Your company has good products and good relationships with happy customers who bought your products. These relationships have the potential to be ‘warm references’ for new prospects. This method is an excellent permanent way to complement any marketing strategy and sales prospecting methodology you currently deploy.

The point that I want to drive home is this. The most effective growth companies have a ‘Sales Culture.’ So, what does that mean, and how do you do it?

How can you build a Sales Culture in your business?

The real secret of this discussion is not only about jumpstarting your sales in the short term but providing an additional source of sales prospects for the long term. Here is the key. A business with a sales culture understands that every employee, manager, executive, owner, and customer should be involved in sales prospecting. Everyone should have an incentive and learn the tools to be able to assist the marketing effort.

All great sales reps know that satisfied customers do not mind if they are asked for leads. Reps ask customers frequently because they know that it will likely produce a more qualified lead with a higher close probability. 

They ask during phone calls, visits, and personal emails and add that referral question at the end of an interaction with the customer on any number of natural topics. The best sales reps use this tool to supplement their pipelines and continue to nurture them over time. They are training their customers to expect to be asked for qualified leads.

-What setup questions do super salespeople ask to start the referrals conversation?

There are countless ways to open the door to ask for referrals. Here are a few practical lead-in questions: 

  1. How do you like our product? 
  2. How is our service? 
  3. How can we improve how we serve you? 
  4. What other features would you like to see in our product? 
  5. Will you tell me your customer success story?

You can ask lead-in questions several ways, but I have found that speaking directly with your customer produces the best results. After the setup question, ask if they know anyone or any business that could also benefit from your product. Then be quiet and wait for a response. One of my best reps used to say, “at this point, I zip it. If I speak next, I lose.” He was a highly disciplined, extraordinary salesman.

How do you start using this proven prospecting technique?

Now let’s take this basic information and quickly grow your business’s sales pipeline. I previously said that “everyone is a salesperson.” Does that mean everyone? Yes. And it does not matter what your company sells or the size of your business. Here is how to begin.

– Start by listing all employees other than your salespeople who touch your existing customers or prospects.

            -product delivery personnel

            -customer service

            -help desk team members

            -project managers

            -leaders who get involved in solving customer issues

            -all owners and executives

-Next, set up a training session for the employees to demonstrate how you want them to integrate a ‘sales culture’ into their everyday activities. Here are some tips for setting this up quickly.

Let’s start with customer delivery and service personnel and use this checklist.

  1. Ask them to list the ways that they have contact with the customer. An example might be after the completion of an installation or delivery.
  2. Then together, create a ‘script’ for how to ask for a referral.
  3. Roleplay with small teams, simulating customer contact. You will find that these sessions are fun and will get your employees more comfortable with adding this to their daily activities.
  4. Now apply this same process to project managers, help desk teams, leaders, and everyone you can. 
  5. Get your sales reps involved in the training. It won’t take much time.

Can I put this sales prospecting tool into action quickly?

You can start this training tomorrow. Think about the quickest way to get this process underway. I recommend that you not try to engineer an elaborate training program. Gather together the people you want to train and tell them your objective. Then start a discussion about how best to make it happen. The ideas will flow. Then get into the roleplay and have fun.

Will my employees actually start asking for referrals?

My experience is yes! And here are some final tips that will help ingrain this process into your business culture.

Provide financial incentives for each employee who finds a prospect. If the referral turns into a sales call or qualified lead, award the incentive. It doesn’t need to turn into a sale. Keep the bar low for the incentive reward and payout quickly. Here is what worked well in my business.

Award a $150.00 ‘Night on the town’ certificate. The recipient then submits the receipts for reimbursement. Or issue a check for use however they would like. You can offer small creative awards by purchasing entertainment and sporting events tickets. Personalizing the award is effective.

Always publicize each success story internally. Send out an all-employee email about the award, thanking the employee. Show the certificate in the email for effect. I like this tip best. If an employee has a significant other, send the certificate to them.

We found that other departments began to ask how they could also help create more prospects for our business. Everyone wants to pitch in to help the company grow, and this is an excellent way to engage them. Now everyone is part of your sales team.

This process works exceptionally well for a small business. Try it. It works!

To summarize:

Get as many employee levels as possible involved in finding prospects. 

Get informal training underway as quickly as possible and do group roleplay. 

Create incentives for finding prospects and then publicize the success story.

These methods work, and they work quickly. You will see results almost immediately. Perhaps the best thing about this method is that it produces results for the life of your business. Create a ‘Culture of Sales’ and watch your business grow.

To conclude:

This method described above served me well for many years. If you would like to discuss this topic further, click below for a free session. https://calendly.com/dave-kerford/

Also, join our Bulletproof Business Community. It is a forum of shared wisdom from our C-suite and business leader members who have formed or are forming what we call Bulletproof businesses. As a first step to joining our community, click below to sign up for our newsletter. https://davekerford.com/subscribe/  Enjoy!

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