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Your Best Prospecting Tool is Literally Staring You in the Face
Blog / Prospecting / Mar 16, 2017 / Posted by John Golden / 6377

Your Best Prospecting Tool is Literally Staring You in the Face


Editor’s Note: This post is part of our special 1-week series on sales prospecting, from experts on the subject.

Prospecting is hard enough at the best of times but how often is the best prospecting tool available to us left under-utilized? In fact, how often is it literally staring us in the face and we stare vacantly back at it? When I say I am talking about REFERRALS, your answer is probably “too often!”

For some reason asking for referrals is often done in a haphazard fashion if indeed it is done at all. There is a reluctance, particularly in B2B sales to ask for a referral during the sales process but as you move towards closing a new deal, that is precisely the time when your new customer is most likely to provide you with a referral. There is an old Irish saying that “going to a wedding is the making of another” given that the celebration and the ebullience of the newly-weds prompts others to start thinking about heading down that path, or aisle to be precise. Same thing with closing a deal, your new customer is excited and pumped about your product or service and enthusiastic about what it is going to do for them and their organization. Now all you have to do is present them with the opportunity to share their enthusiasm with others they think may benefit.

The same applies at renewal time or upsell time – just because the customer didn’t have a referral for you the first time doesn’t mean they won’t later – in other words, don’t just ask once.

So my advice is start looking at every closing of a sale (or renewal or upsell) as the chance to create multiple other sales.

In short elevate referrals to the top of your prospecting activities. And you don’t need to take my word for the power of referrals – here are 10 statistics that spell it out very clearly and salespeople, pay particular attention to the bonus stat #11!

1. Word of Mouth is STILL the most influential factor in driving purchases. Source: Nielsen

2. 91% of customers say they’d give referrals: only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. Source: DaleCarnegie

3. 73% of executives prefer to work with sales professionals referred by someone they know. Source: IDC

4. Referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value. Source: Journal of Marketing

5. A referred customer is 18% more loyal than a customer acquired through a different method. Source: Journal of Marketing

6. 84% of B2B decision-makers start their purchase with a referral. Source: Edelman Trust Barometer

7. Every referring customers makes an average of 2.68 invites. Source: SaaSquatch Data Science

8. B2B buyers are 5X more likely to engage when introduced. Source: LinkedIn

9. Referral leads convert 30% better than leads generated from other marketing channels. Source: R&G Technologies

10. Referrals are 4x more valuable than a web lead. Source: Inside Sales


11. Salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t. Source: @TopSalesWorld

About Author

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist, he has conducted over 1500 video interviews of thought leaders for Sales POP! online sales magazine & YouTube Channel and for audio podcast channels where Sales POP! is rated in the top 2% of most popular shows out of 3,320,580 podcasts globally, ranked by Listen Score. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

Author's Publications on Amazon

John Golden, best selling author of "Winning the Battle for Sales" presents "Social Upheaval: How to Win At Social Selling" to explain how every B2B salesperson can add social selling methods to their toolkits, and why it is so important that they do so without…
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FROM THE CREATORS OF SPIN SELLING―TRIED-AND-TRUE STRATEGIES TO ARM YOU IN THE WAR FOR SALES SUPREMACY "I distinctly remember my first VP talking about 'campaigns' and 'targets.' Indeed, successful salespeople have made learning from military tactics an important aspect of their careers. In this engaging…
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