Does the name Belfort ring a bell? He is the Wolf of Wall Street, and anyone who saw the movie about Jordan Belfort’s notorious life knows he was not an ethical guy. However, he perfected the art of Referral Selling, and there are some pearls of wisdom that I gleaned from studying him that might be helpful to you.
First, Belfort believed people always want what they can’t have. Demand for things is created by the perception of exclusivity. He would create a sales person that embodied the “referral only” method to the point where on his business card, “referrals only” was used as a tagline to create the perception he was in very high demand. People felt lucky to get an appointment with him to be able to buy from him!
Referral marketing or selling only works well if you have a good reputation. You must do right by people. Bigger is not necessarily better. Your service has to project a CARING ATTITUDE, and many times quality control falls down more with bigger organizations than smaller boutique companies.
Too often we are overly focused on our chauffeurs. Yet there are so many other client touch points to a company which include reservations, dispatch, your sales team (including YOU), web and social media presentation.
We need to assess our companies on a regular basis and challenge our teams to project a friendly, positive, and most importantly, problem-solving attitude. If you’re confident that your company nails all this and enjoys a rock star reputation, you’re in a great position to adopt referral-based-only selling techniques.
Referral Selling requires you as the owner of your company to be out in your community and engaged in organizations such Meeting Planners International (MPI), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), your chambers of commerce, and schools and civic groups.
One great way to bond with people is to “open up your house.” Put on referral oriented events like a “getting to know you” parking lot picnic or become a sponsor of one. Wherever you go in social settings, remember to ask this question: “Do you know of anyone or any business that you do work with that might benefit from my services?” Referral Marketing can also be used as a recruiting tool. Consider a career night at your offices for example. Get to know people in a social setting to cultivate referrals.
Selling efficiently is key. Referrals are a gold mine of untapped opportunity! As we enter the busy spring season, it’s timely to think about sales strategy. Good luck!