Almighty Referrals…”Earn the Right”& build strong relationships

Almighty Referrals ‘Earn the Right’ & build strong relationships

by: Larry Coco, Coco Training & Coaching

The month is winding down and your sales team is frantically trying to close every deal possible. Order processors are on high alert. Your techs and IT staff members have been asked to work overtime doing setups and installs. You try and squeeze out all that you possibly can and the month is suddenly closed. It is now time to wrap it up since the journey starts all over again tomorrow.

It is now time to analyze the results. The cold, hard fact is that your sales team came up short of expectations. The sales pipelines were not filled to an acceptable level. By drilling down, you and your management team notice that the billed orders were, in large part, generated by current customer upgrades and some new business as well.

You think about what more could have been done to meet the established targets and reflect on your great successes as a sales rep years ago. Then the light bulb suddenly goes on and the realization hits: Referrals were always a big part of your sales funnel and they helped you get to the promised land in a consistent manner.

It is now time to ask yourself if you have a true referral process in place. If not, why not? The fact that you are now thinking about this is a good thing, as research tells us that 41 percent of the business generated by the best sales executives in the technology space come from referrals.

Getting referrals is hard work, but it is truly fun and rewarding work. It requires sales reps to stay connected to their clients and to make frequent “touches” to build even stronger relationships. This reassures clients that they are important and that your company is there for the long haul.

A few questions come to mind. First, how can your company bring added value to your customers? Next, what does the customer expect from your company and your sales reps going forward? By answering these questions, clarity can be had.

Now it is time to develop a referral process that can be embraced not only by your salespeople, but by your entire organization. Keep in mind, clients are more willing to provide those valued referrals only when they know deep down that you will make them look good. If you are not sure about this, please ask your customers and listen intently to their responses as to what motivates them to share key relationships with you. My bet is that the words “trust” and “credibility” will be heard often.

It is all about taking a more proactive approach. In the early, discovery part of the sales process, your reps will do well to thank prospects for their time and begin planting seeds. For example: “Steve, I enjoyed our meeting today and wanted to ask: If and when we have the opportunity to do business together and you see we have delivered at a high level to the point of complete satisfaction, is there a chance you would be willing to share referrals with me?” Believe me, as your rep nods his (or her) head “yes” and smiles, the prospect will follow suit.

Another approach may work very well during the “solution proposal” stage. Your rep might say: “Kim, we look forward to earning your business. Just know that if and when we partner together, we will want to come in every quarter and do a formal account review that will allow us to find ways to make your organization more productive and efficient. Are you OK with this?” Chances are the prospect will view him with respect and respond positively. This approach positions your company as being special and different (a competitive advantage), since it takes away the buyer’s notion that the rep is only there for a commission check

and will soon be going away. Please remember that these are not just words. We must do these things and make them part of our selling culture.

Your rep has now earned the customer’s business and a seamless install takes place. It is now time to say: “Mike, two things. First, thank you so much for the business. It is appreciated. Second, just know that the bulk of our business comes from referrals. Also know that anyone you would be kind enough to send my way will be treated with the utmost professionalism, courtesy and respect. Please keep me in mind going forward.”

This is where the constant “touches” come into play. Some examples include: a handwritten thank-you card (a personal note means so much); referring customers to your clients; formal account reviews; invitations to educational seminars, open houses and lunch-and-learns; updates from industry articles on business trends; and walk-ins when in the area with a customer post-sale questionnaire (a report card every six months is recommended) that allows your client to know that his voice counts and your organization is always looking for ways to improve. (Note: If you do not have a great post-sale questionnaire, contact me and I will send one your way.)

Imagine the power of installing a strong referral process for your sales force. Make it part of your written sales rep job description, since it will be a large part of the job. Discuss the process with your sales reps as well as sales rep candidates prior to making employment offers. Build your culture. Inspire your people. Create a metric.

Perhaps the new expectation will be that each sales executive will secure at least five referrals from current clients each month. Let your reps know how important this initiative is to both their growth and development as well as the company’s. Drive this in sales meetings and recognize those who have done a good job with referrals. Celebrate good behaviors and great accomplishments. Also, be sure to embed this metric into your CRM tool so this effort can be tracked and measured, resulting in best practices that fast become part of the way you do business.

Let’s say you currently have 10 sales reps and require each to provide five referrals a month. How much could these 50 golden leads affect your ability to hit your sales targets in a consistent fashion rather than the “roller-coaster ride” that simply wears you down over time? Please realize this may be the missing piece you need at month end that results in high fives from the big boss rather than nasty glances.

In summary, note that the best sales executives across the country take a proactive approach and attribute 41 percent of their success to the almighty referral. If you know a sales executive sitting at 79 percent of plan year to date and he is not asking for referrals because he thinks it is awkward to ask, is not sure what to say or believes a customer should call in with a referral, it is time to change that mindset. He may very well be able to have a more vibrant sales funnel and be a 120-plus-percent performer who operates with more consistency, direction and purpose. So how will that change his life? Visualization here is key. Referrals are all about earning the right and building strong relationships; they are as good as gold

 

Almighty Referrals…”Earn the Right”& build strong relationships

The End of Solution Selling as You Know It. Are You Ready?

Your B2B customers don’t need you the way they used to. According to Google, more than 60% of the sales cycle takes place before your sales reps meet with their prospects. Why? Because of the Internet, social media and purchasing committees. Building trust and credibility is now more important than ever. Sound familiar? Your senior sales reps have relationship building skills; your younger reps have the Internet and social media fluency.
What’s does this mean to you? It’s time to take a hard look at your sales organization. We can help with the Higher Sale Playbook ™. We have used our sales and sales management expertise to create the industry-leading platform to build sales organizations of all sizes, and in a consistent way. Starting with preliminary meetings, the Coco Training team will collaborate with top management to determine the health of a sales organization, to on-site training and coaching, and follow up planning; equipping your organization for success in the contemporary selling environment.
The shift is occurring at an ever increasing rate. Selling is changing and your sales teams need improved skill sets to keep pace. Our comprehensive program covers the tools and processes critical to personal, team, and company development. It’s about building a solid foundation with structure and contemporary Sales Best Practices.
Want to know more? Call me, email me. Attend a webinar and learn how A Higher Sale Playbook can energize your sales organization.
Larry Coco
President/Founder
Coco Training – the home of the Inspired Sales Approach™
Tel: 914.588.5384

The End of Solution Selling as You Know It. Are You Ready?

Are Your Sales on Track For 2015?

Chances are there’s room for improvement! Our unique, proven Higher Sale Playbook ™ is an end-to-end program. We have used our decades of sales and sales management expertise to create the industry-leading platform to build sales organizations of all sizes, and in a consistent way. Starting with preliminary meetings, Coco Training will collaborate with top management to determine the health of a sales organization, to on-site training and coaching, and follow up planning.
Selling is changing. You can shape the future of your company before someone else does; and we can help! Unlike any other program in the way that it covers all the essentials, it’s a comprehensive program that covers the tools and processes critical to personal, team, and company development. It’s about building a stable foundation with structure and Sales Best Practices from which greatness can occur.
Want to know more? Call me, email me. Attend a webinar and see for yourself how A Higher Sale Playbook can energize your sales organization.
I look forward to working with you.
Larry Coco

Are Your Sales on Track For 2015?

What a Sales Executive Has To Say…

Larry,

Overall I was very pleased with the sales training, and I felt like I learned more information that will get me to where I would like to be. A lot of the information you provided made me realize that I am doing a lot of these things without having training on doing them. Having a name and more information for them was reassuring that I was on the right track with my sales practices.

Our company is going to use the letters strategy to better reach our perspective clients. We have tailored them to fit our company image and how we would like to be seen as with our clients.

After doing the 8 weeks I feel as if I have someone I can contact at any time and talk to them about sales or anything that is going on. I’m not sure how many of the people you train walk away with having a solid connection as I have.

You said that I was stuck with you, but it may be the other way around. I will continue to reach out and see what else I can gather from your experience.

I will leave you with this. Thank you sir for your time and energy to work with someone you didn’t know. I understand this is your job, but I’m sure there are more lucrative opportunities than working with a single sales person. So thank you for taking the time anyway. I know you tell most of your people you train that they are high level sales people and that they are rock stars, but I hope that I genuinely fall in those categories in your mind. It is not often that people my age get the opportunity to work with people who have been at the top of their given field. You will have to be my Derek Jeter, and that in itself will give me motivation to surpass what you were able to achieve

Best wishes,

Cale
Sales Accounts Executive

TriTech Corporation of America

What a Sales Executive Has To Say…

Does Your Sales Organization Need To Grow?

If your answer is yes, read on…

We can help you grow – revenue, profit and ROI. At Coco Training & Coaching we equip sales organizations with the right tools, processes, and skill sets developing teams that produce more.

On the surface, many sales topics are rather similar. We are proud to say our approach is unique. We engage in a different way by drilling down topics to a point where they are understandable. Tools, resources, and structure that both management and sales can embrace, use, leading to greater successes.

Why Coco Training & Coaching? Our approach has caused a paradigm shift for many sales organizations. With decades of sales and sales management experience, we have used our expertise to create the industry-leading A Higher Sale Playbook. It’s is a proven program that includes preliminary meetings determining the health of a sales organization, intense on-site training and sharing of needed tools and processes, as well as timely follow up focused on implementation. As one recent Vice President of Sales noted,” I knew during our first meeting this is what we needed to do to break the barrier of growth for this coming year. I am excited knowing we now have a written business plan with a real strategy moving forward. With your help, we designed a plan based on four key elements: New Business Development, Company Branding, a true Inspection Process, and a solid Recruiting Strategy to fill the talent pipeline”.

Want to know more?

Call me, email me. You are invited to attend a webinar that will absolutely make you think.

I look forward to working with you.

Larry Coco

President/Founder
Coco Training – the home of the Inspired Sales Approach™
Tel: 914.588.5384
Email:larry@cocotraining.com
Website: http://www.cocotraining.com

Does Your Sales Organization Need To Grow?