Relationships rule in sales—always have and always will. Unless you sell a commodity, if you don’t establish trusting relationships with your prospects, they'll buy from someone else—salespeople they already know or who have been referred by people they trust.
So, why do sales teams rely on cold emails, cold calls, and cold social media outreach when it can take seven to 10 touches just to get a response? Decision-makers don’t take cold calls or respond to cold emails. They have better things to do, and so do sales teams.
A call is either hot or cold. There’s simply no such thing as a warm call. Nor are emails or social media messages warm, just because you’ve done a little research. Regardless of how you reach out to prospects, your attempts are either:
There is no in-between.
A referral means you receive a personal introduction to your prospect, not just a name and contact information. Without an introduction, the prospect doesn’t know you and doesn’t expect to hear from you, which means you're cold calling. Period.
Here’s how a referral works:
When you get referrals, you:
The business case for referrals is loud and clear. Decision-makers will always meet with sales reps who’ve been referred by people they know and trust. If your competition gets to the decision-maker first, you might be out of the game. But when you’re asking for referrals and receiving introductions, deals are yours to win.
How do you want to spend your valuable selling time? Making cold calls and cold emailing prospects seven to 10 times? Or getting to decision-makers with just one call because you have referral introductions? It’s really a no-brainer.
Joanne Black is America’s leading authority on referral selling—the only business-development strategy proven to convert prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time.