Less Effort, More Sales

Most salespeople and businesses work to the same time-consuming and energy-draining model. They sell to one person or business at a time. Just imagine how your performance could be transformed if you could meet with one person and sell to many as a result. Welcome to the world of referral partners.

What is a referral partner?

Referral partnerships should be a central pillar of your networking sales strategies. They make the most of your network, and deliver back to your contacts.

A referral partner is usually a satisfied customer, with whom you establish a referral agreement. In this, you agree to give something of value to the partner when they refer someone to you and when that referral results in a sale. Typically, this reward will be financial – a commission based on the size of the sale, for example (a referral fee).

Referral partnerships encourage deeper sales network development

Referral partnerships are a great way to encourage your virtual sales team to establish deeper and more meaningful connections to existing customers. 

Many salespeople reach out infrequently to existing customers. They have made a sale and it may be some time before the customer wishes to make a repeat purchase. Why waste time on such sales network development when they could be earning commission from other customers?

When your team understands the value of referral partners – and that they, too, could earn from the connection – they are more likely to develop these network connections. This ensures that you and your services are more likely to be referred. It also gives your salespeople the opportunity to upsell to your existing (and newly referred) customers.

The multiple benefits of referral partnering

Only needing to connect with one referral partner instead of reaching out to many prospects is a huge benefit. Because they are incentivized to refer you, they will market you to their network. This gives you a potentially broader and deeper market penetration than you could ever achieve on your own. 

However, this is not the only benefit. Here are a few more benefits that sway the pendulum firmly in favor of putting referral partnerships front and center of your network development strategy.

  1. Cost-effective marketing

You only pay for referrals when a sale is delivered. This means the work they do to refer you is highly cost-effective. No sale, no cost.

  1. Faster to market

Imagine a salesperson who makes 10 calls to customers in a morning. Now imagine that those customers each market your services or products to 10 of their connections for you. Your message is faster to market and you have the potential to build a wider net of potential new customers.

  1. Eliminate cold calling

Lead generation and cold calling is the part of sales that most people hate. Eliminate this. Provide your referral partners with the information they need to develop your target market for you.

  1. Add value to existing relationships

As a referral partner, the relationship you have with an existing connection in your network takes on new meaning. You become far more valuable to them.

  1. Increase brand awareness

Because your referral partners are speaking to their contacts about you – delivering a positive message and confirming themselves as satisfied customers of yours – awareness of your brand increases. As your reputation spreads, you are more likely to receive calls from potential customers – remember the statistic that there are only six degrees of separation between all of us?

  1. Higher probability of making sales

Your referral partner’s connections trust them. Therefore, by the time you meet with the referral, they are already sold on you, your services, and your products. You don’t have to work so hard to close a sale, because they have effectively come to you much further down the sales funnel. Your job becomes closing, rather than convincing.

  1. Cast a narrow net to catch in a wider ocean

As your referral partners bring business to you, and you close sales and develop new customer relationships, you have the potential to develop further referral partnerships.

It is likely that your narrow net will develop your brand to a far wider audience, helping you to develop your business across countries, continents, and time zones. You could soon become an international brand, with 24-hour sales.

Start now to take advantage of referral partnerships

The sooner you begin to develop referral partnerships, the sooner you will begin to grow your business. While I have focused on building referral partners from your existing customers, this might only be the start for you. 

You should also seek to develop referral partnerships with your existing professional and business network. You are trusted, you have provided good advice, and been a helpful contact. Now it is time to develop your relationship to offer increasing mutual benefits.

One final thought for you: just imagine how powerful your network of referral partners could be. 

In my next two articles, I’ll share tips on how to build a referral partner program and how to get referral partners. In the meantime, please feel free to take this assessment and learn if you are the right fit for my sales acceleration program.


Publish Date: 5/7/2021 12:00:00 AM
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Less Effort, More Sales
Most salespeople and businesses work to the same time-consuming and energy-draining model. They sell to one person or business at a time. Just imagine how your performance could be transformed if you could meet with one person and sell to many as a result. Welcome to the world of referral partners.
What is a referral partner?
Referral partnerships should be a central pillar of your networking sales strategies. They make the most of your network, and deliver back to you…

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