Entrepreneurs: Close More Business

All the business you need is right in front of you.

Many of us find it hard to ask for help. Remember when we were in school and no one wanted to raise their hand because they were too embarrassed. Do you all remember what the teachers would say? There is nothing to be embarrassed about, we are not born already knowing everything and without asking we couldn’t possibly learn.

Did you know that giving others an opportunity to help is actually quite beneficial to them? Studies show that giving and sharing can impact self-esteem and depression in positive ways!

Helping others by being a connector is common practice for successful entrepreneurs; this is how many rise to the top. Yet when presented with the idea of asking for referrals most entrepreneurs would rather cold call all day long than ask for a referral.

Why don’t more entrepreneurs use a referral strategy? Most are afraid of looking needy or they have had a referral go rogue and don’t want to risk that again!

Many entrepreneurs I interview have no idea what a referral is or is not. For example, 80% of entrepreneurs surveyed believe getting to use someone’s name in a phone call, basically a cold call where you are name dropping, is a referral. When I ask for a referral I request the referrer call ahead, gain permission and then do an email intro. I get to at least have the conversation 95% of the time.

A referral transfers trust from one relationship to another.

Trust is the most critical factor in the sales process. A referral shortcuts you to trust. Once you have established trust you must gain understanding and continue with your sales process. The bonus is that you have cut the selling time anywhere from 20–60%, according to Joanne Black who is the leading authority on referral selling.

Professional referrals can grow your business short and long term. Every new professional you are referred to expands your network. Learning how to harness & develop these relationships and not “sell” to them is critical to growing your entire network.

Your network is your personal goldmine.

Why start over with new suspects and cold calling?

For companies focused on growth, one of the biggest opportunities is making sales more productive. Economic and technological changes are creating an environment where customers are more educated than ever by the time you get to them.

Most entrepreneurs have more leads than they need. It’s distracting. The chances are you could mine all the business you need from your top 5 contacts. Take a quick look at your top 5 contacts on LinkedIn right now. Check out their connections. Look at all the interesting people one degree away from you.

My Momma told me many times:
If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Just let your friends and colleagues know you are growing your business strategically. You are selecting the right kind of people to work with and you need their help.

If you need help increasing your referrals, contact me.

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