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Building Trusting Client Relationships Helps You Generate your OWN Referrals

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Larger companies selling complex solutions generally have a very sophisticated marketing organization familiar with all the latest social marketing techniques to generate leads and referrals. In this author’s opinion, senior management often relies too heavily on this resource while missing out on the value of relationships their sales teams have already made with existing clients and the marketplace. Let’s examine why this is so important.

All Decision Makers Have a Strong Network

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current average salaried tenure in the U.S. was just 4.1 years (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics ). This means that your clients have likely been in several key roles at other similar organizations and have strong connections to people who could benefit from meeting you and learning about your solution. If your advocacy and support of your clients throughout their tenure with your company have been positive, they will have no problem referring you, but you need to do the work!

If you are employing the key G.O.A. T. Selling fundamentals of Being Genuine, and Being an Advocate, you will easily develop very strong trust relationships with key decision makers and influencers in your client organizations and the wider marketplace. You should start to think of every trust relationship you develop as your best source of new leads because they provide connections that come to you presold on both you and your solution.

LinkedIn is one of the greatest selling tools ever created. As soon as you begin a new relationship with a prospect you should become familiar with their personal history and potential connections. This is part of being intentional in your sales process. The value of the deal to you and your company is more than just the potential dollar value of an initial sale. A key connection can introduce you to the broader market through their personal influence and connections.

Another reason to be aware of the prospect’s background and history is to reveal whether you can utilize some of your existing clients as “calling cards”. If their LinkedIn history indicates they have a shared experience with one of your existing clients, this is another way to use this as a “soft referral”.

Being a matchmaker for your clients and prospects sets you up as a key contact in your industry. When you begin to achieve this level of interaction, prospects can and do reach out to you directly because they already believe you are a person they can trust, and you may have a solution to one of their key problems.

The biggest advantage of getting referrals this way is you can usually start the dialog directly with a key decision maker. This cuts the time from first contact to closed deal by at least 50%. You also have a supercharged path to a trust relationship that your competitors will not have. This frequently allows you to eliminate competition from significant consideration very early in the sales process.

If you have stayed in the same market for a while, you should also keep connections with those who didn’t buy from you. I once lost a significant opportunity with a blue-chip prospect. However, through the implementation of G.O.A.T. selling strategies, a trust relationship was built during the selling process. When the solution the client purchased failed, they called me directly and initiated a sales process with me. When I asked who else they were talking with, they admitted that they were only reaching out to me.

By demonstrating your ongoing commitment to their success by continuing to communicate, you can become the backup solution or the “upgrade” when the time is right.

I will say that not every close client contact will agree to make an introduction for you. I had one case where the CEO gave me a firm NO even though he knew the contact well. I later learned they had a personal falling out. I did ultimately connect with my target via another contact, which lead to a $5M plus sale. Sales time start to finish was 9 months.

When you get a referral from marketing, it has at most a medium level of success. When you get your own referrals, you will make the sale almost every time.

We invite you to subscribe to the G.O.A.T. Selling Academy Today! Let us help you supercharge your results and your income.

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