Mark Zuckerberg said “People influence people. Nothing influences more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising.”
This quote is so very true when people are looking at who they want to deal with and would be a perfect customer/prospect for them and their business. They are looking for what’s called an “ideal referral” in the sales world. An “ideal referral” is the perfect contact/prospect for you and your business. When you are going out looking for referrals or asking for business it makes sense to have a very real and easily understood pen picture of who or what would be your ideal customer or prospect?

There are a number of key points that need to be included in your pen picture, and they might seem obvious but having a check list will save a lot of time and will help to get you in front of the best people and lead to better referrals and relationships and ultimately orders and business.

The checklist can include:

Are they a decision maker? A lot of time is wasted talking to people who ultimately can’t or have no influence over the decision. If they aren’t the decision maker, can they get you in touch with the correct person who makes the decisions?

What type of business or profession are they in? You might have specialisms or key markets that you work best with.

What type of person do you work best with? Do you have a particular type of person that works well with yourself? Characteristics that you work well with or just as importantly ones that you don’t work well with. There may be industries or businesses that you can’t work with from a moral, ethical, credit control, past experience, personality clashes, or that you just don’t like working with.
Are there specific goals, challenges or pain points that your product or service can ideally support or resolve?

The size of business or market segment that you work best with, will make it easier for people to be able to narrow down their network to find the right people and referrals for you and your business. The more specific and targeted you can be, it will be all the better for you. The ultimate referral request is when you can ask for the person by name, and the job that they do.
If you are making requests that are too generalised, then you are very much lessening the chance of success and also wasting your time and everyone else’s. The ability to ask for help from your network can be enhanced if you work closely and openly with your coach/mentor. Their experience and expertise in the marketplace could prove invaluable to yourself and your business. Through challenging and open questions they can help and support you in creating the pen pictures and also finding the ideal referrals, opportunities and prospects.

Find out more about our Philosophy of Sales and Sales Leadership training courses & Sales workshops. Our courses and workshops help sales professionals learn new techniques and strategies that’ll help them succeed in today’s competitive market. Each workshop is unique to each circumstance and request, because it’s tailored for the individual or the team’s needs and requirements.

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