I conducted a webinar yesterday about filling your sales funnel. I talked on the webinar about how important it is to develop referral sources as a way to increase the number of prospects in your sales funnel. Having a pipeline full of sales prospects gives you as a sales person confidence when you are in front of a prospect. If you are talking with a prospect and this prospect is the only viable prospect you have, I can assure you the desperation of getting a sale from this prospect is going to come through. When you have a pipeline full of prospects it doesn’t become so important for you to get a sale from any particular one. When you have a confident posture, your prospect is not going to sense desperation because it is not there.
One of the best ways to fill your pipeline is from referral sources. Referral sources provide not just one referral but several referrals because you have developed a relationship with them. Getting and developing referral sources is a skill that’s developed from effective networking. You educate your referral sources on what to look and listen for that would alert the referral source this is a potential prospect for you.
The relationship between you and the referral source is not one sided. In other words, it is mutually beneficial. Your referral source benefits by providing value (you) to their prospects or acquaintances. You could also provide referrals to your referral source too.
The idea is to be aware that the relationship is a reciprocal one and you want to know what value you’re bringing to the table.
Always show appreciation and follow-up with your referral sources. This does not necessarily mean monetary compensation, although it could be. Sometimes thoughtful gifts are more meaningful and valuable to the relationship than money. However you decide to show appreciation, just make sure it is heartfelt. Another thing to keep in mind is to keep your referral source informed of what is happening with the referral they gave you. Your referral source will want to know what is happening and keeping them informed is another way to show how appreciative you are for the referral.