Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Confessions Of A Referral Generating Mo Fo!

First things first. Let's get the confession part of today's post out of the way:

Confession #1: I'm not the referral generating Mo Fo nor is this based on some referral generating Mo Fo. I just really dug the title and bada bing, bada bang it just sort of happened!

Confession #2: That picture has nothing to do with today's topic but has has everything to do with something I will share with you if you are kind enough to bear with me.

Confession #3: No Mo Fo's were harmed in the creation of today's blog!

Perhaps the lowest hanging of the low hanging fruit is the referral and yet for a variety of reasons, we do not ask for them nearly enough!

Perhaps we feel funny asking for them?
Afraid we will appear desperate?
Not sure how to ask properly as if Miss Manners might suddenly appear and smack you for asking incorrectly. (Giggity!)

Who knows? Who cares? Its time to change some things about how you think and how you ask (for referrals)

My Dad taught me something years ago, that I never forgot. In fact it comes back to me every now and again as a flash back ala every bad Kung Fu movie you have ever seen. He told me that everyone likes the feeling of being respected enough to be asked for suggestions on:

A cool restaurant
A book or resource

And yes, other people to do business with! Why? Because it sort of gives that person an ego jolt. It tells them their perspective matters! It makes them an authority, even if just for that moment!

I would keep that in mind and harness that important mindset!

Next, you need to understand something that completely screws up the moment like your kid knocking on your bedroom door just after you put that damn Barry White CD on! Probably not that bad, but its still bad nonetheless! When you ask someone for a referral they have mucho other things they are thinking of and quite frankly, they don't have you, your company and more importantly, who they know on the brain.

That's why you have to jog their memory!

Here's how it works. Go ahead and ask for the referral any way that you wish. I'm not here to change that. I would simply suggest that you jog their memory by suggesting Groups of People (like how I put that in green?)

Here's how I do it:

Neil (make sure their name is Neil or you will piss them off) Is there anyone you can think of that could also benefit from the types of services I offer? Friends, perhaps someone you do business with, a golfing buddy?

I suggest 3 different groups because the mind can process things splendidly in 3's! Note to self: I sound feminine when I use words like "splendidly".

This requires some Pre Call or Pre Referral Planning on your part. You need to think about the best "3" for this client.

Perhaps they are really active on Linkedin or a sports enthusiast. Perhaps they belong to several organizations, have a large family. Think about your client and where you can get the most bang for your referral buck!

Ok, that brings us to a rather Sales 101 moment, but its worth mentioning. Hopefully, you agreed with my Dad's philosophy about people feeling good about referring people. To that end we must reinforce the behavior! We can do that by obviously showing immediate gratitude in the form of both a verbal and written thank you! We can give a sincere compliment about how well our contact is networked. (kind of strokes the ego, doesn't it?) But wait, there's more. We should not only take exceptional care of the referral, we need to talk up (sincerely) the person who referred us and keep them posted on the progress!

The final advice I have for you comes from an old boss of mine who I will not dignify by writing his name, because quite frankly, he under paid me and jerked me around, but I digress. He used to tell me, every time I'd bring home the bacon:

"Like I always say Paulie. If you don't ask, you don't get"

So here's to asking gang. Sometimes you just have to embrace the side of the brain that says "WTF?"

And before I forget, I need to share something very important about why I chose that picture today. That little girl is in my life, along with 2 other wonderful children, because on this day, 21 years ago, I married my best friend!

In sales person speak: "It was the deal of the century" and my life is much richer for having married Laura. Laura, you are my inspiration and the reason I wake up in the morning wanting to conquer the world! I love you!

To the rest of you. Sorry for the sappy moment but then again, my blog, my rules!

Go get 'em today gang. You are closer than you think!

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  1. Damn straight I'm your inspiration!

  2. Happy Anniversary, Paul and Laura.

  3. Love it! Paul and Laura, happy anniversary!
    Check out this video! My husband sent it to me on our anniversary.

  4. Wow that was Spendid- LOL (I am a girl so I can say that sound feminine with confidence - LOL)! And quite inspirational! Thanks for my morning chuckle and some really good advice!
    Oh and of course Happy Anniversary Paul & Laura!
    Love you and love your show!
    Tiffany Siok, The Marketing Guru

  5. Thanks Paul. That's a good reminder that when a networking contact doesn't pan out to be all that great, grab the "low-hanging fruit" and move on. Thanks!

  6. Happy Anniversary Paul..and thanks for the always encouraging words.

  7. Wow, I cried off most of my makeup reading your blog, Paul. Then I laughed the rest off when I read Laura's comment. =) I hope you have reservations for dinner tonight. Congratulations!

  8. Happy anniversary. If you're half as good a husband as you are a writer, you'll be married forever.


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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