LinJen Promotions
Linda Heyse-Highland and Jennifer Savor, Founders of LinJen Promotions
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Referrals: The Low-Hanging Fruit

Everyone talks about referrals, but few actually pursue them. Referrals should be considered the reward for a job well done. As a true sales professional, you have earned the right to ask for and receive referrals. This month, we take a brief look at two types of referrals.

Client To Client
A client-to-client referral is typically a referral to someone outside your customer's company -- perhaps an associate in the same field but employed at a different company. It is okay to offer up some sort of reward for a lucrative referral.

Upon introducing yourself to the new client, immediately let him or her know you have a successful relationship with the mutual contact and that, based on your past success, the contact suggested you call. It has to be clear that you are calling to earn business based on your previous achievements with the mutual contact. You are calling with the purpose of getting in the loop and earning business.

Don't show up expecting to have business handed to you. You not only have to impress the new client, you have to make your old client proud and confident in his or her decision to give you the referral. Be humble and honored to have the opportunity to earn the new client's business. Don't talk about details regarding your other client except the professional relationship you have.

Client To Co-Worker
This isn't too different than the client-to-client referral, but it requires a little more hand-holding. You can't offer up a bonus incentive because it could be a conflict of interest. Your goal is to have your client champion you into other departments of his or her company based on the added value you bring to the table. Remember, if you held up your end of the bargain, your client should want you to work with other departments and contacts.

Use the same concept as outlined before: "Based on this proven track record, do you feel okay with me offering my services to other areas of your company?"

Lunch meetings or joint conference calls are a great way to do introductions. Approach these referrals the same way you would approach the client-to-client referral. Make sure you are on your game and prepared to put your best foot forward.

For more insight on cultivating and managing referrals, click here to read the full article, "Referrals: The Low-Hanging Fruit Of Sales".

Source: Promotional Consultant Today and Jim Cross, author of Bacon & Eggs: How to be Totally Committed to Your Sales Career. He has more than 15 years' experience in sales and executive management. He spent five years as the national sales manager for Fortune 500 technology reseller CDW and joined the executive management team of JDM Infrastructure in Chicago. He is also founder of The Cross Corp, which focuses on increasing clients' bottom lines through optimal technology solutions as well as the development of all-star sales forces.

Case Studies

Sport Tote Item: Sport Tote
Product Use: Room gift for National Sales Meeting
Promotion: An electronics company chose the Oceanside Sport Tote as a room drop gift for its national sales meeting in Cancun, Mexico. The tote was an ideal piece for carrying essentials to the pool, and served as an excellent carry-on for the flight home.

Cargo Box Item: Primary Cargo Box
Product Use: Bi-Annual Sales Meeting
Promotion: As part of their bi-annual sales meeting, a major distributor chose the Primary Cargo Box for its sales staff. The collapsible piece, great for organizing essentials, fit perfectly with the theme of the sales meeting: "Being Organized to Succeed." The reps were appreciative of the gift, which contained new product & service information kits and marketing flyers. This helped cement the meeting focus on organizing and planning.

We're here to help you succeed. Give us a call at 708.478.8222 or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Linda, Jennifer and the LinJen Team