My clients are probably sick of my “broken record” message on the importance and value of referrals, but here I go again. No surprise to all you businesses out there – it’s critical to close deals in this crazy economic environment.

The great news is I’m seeing my clients gain new business regularly even now, so you don’t need to “sweat it,” you just need to be better than your competition. And one way to make sure you’re better is to have a whole company referral strategy. I’ve been witnessing the true value of referral-based prospects. They are gold to a business, and never more so than in challenging times. Their importance/value is obvious – on top of better closing percentages on referred deals, you’ll also save on costs for your salesperson’s and team’s time. When you’ve been referred to someone, there is already some basis for trust which helps make the whole sales cycle smoother and shorter. The cherry on top is that many referrals are pre-vetted as serious potential prospects, which means salespeople are using their time wisely.

Sales referrals are one of the most valuable sources of new business, and salespeople who build their pipeline through referrals can both win business and create a wonderful network of clients. But a strong referral pipeline isn’t something that just happens. Like our clients, companies and salespeople serious about getting referrals know it’s critical first to cultivate their client relationships and deliver top notch service. Most importantly, they need to ask for referrals, and many are hesitant to do so, at least until they learn how.

How many referrals have you gotten recently? What’s your mix of referrals to other lead sources? I promise if you focus on referrals, your sales will increase, and the clients will be people you will enjoy working with.

If you want to find out more about a whole company referral strategy, give us a call. We’re always glad to help.

Mary Anne Wampler