How to Immediately Improve Your Sales

Here’s how to get more sales fast.

 Just ask for qualified referrals.

 It’s that simple.

 A qualified referral is the lowest hanging fruit for most salespeople in most situations. But, if it’s so easy, why don’t more salespeople do it?

 It’s because most sales people are uncomfortable asking for referrals just as most people are uncomfortable making cold calls.

 What’s going on here? Why are salespeople uncomfortable asking for referrals?

Although there are many reasons for this discomfort, here’s the main reason. It’s because most of us are uncomfortable with rejection.

Here’s how this plays out.

When you ask for a referral, you might hear the word ‘no’, which you might interpret as a rejection. So, because you anticipate a “no” and you aren’t comfortable with rejection (like most of us), you just don’t ask. Yet, this low hanging fruit is just waiting for you if you can just manage your discomfort and ask for that referral.

How do you do it?

One way to start is by changing your interpretation of the word ‘no’.  Instead of interpreting it as rejection, just think of the word ‘no’ as an objection.

You might ask, “What’s the difference between ‘no’ and an ‘objection’?”

Here’s the answer. An objection is just an unanswered question. But, a lot of salespeople don’t understand this.

Here’s how this works.

Most of the time, when someone raises an objection it’s because they are uncomfortable about something and this leads them to say ‘no’. They say ‘no’ because somewhere in their mind, they are uncomfortable – but they might not be able to articulate what’s bothering them. So, they say ‘no’.

In other words, their objection is an unanswered question they might not even know they are asking. Here are some examples of unanswered questions.

“What’s in it for me to give this referral?” Here’s another.  “Why am I uncomfortable in giving this referral?”.  And, another. “What are the consequences on me if I give this referral?”

What makes this tough on you is that they aren’t likely to ask the question out loud. They may not even be aware they are thinking it.

Yet, in the conversation you’ve been having with the person who might give you a referral, there have usually been lots of clues as to which questions they are probably asking themselves.

You will have seen it in body language such as fidgeting, folded arms, leaning away from you, looking at their watch, or diverting their eyes. It all signals discomfort.

So, to deal with the objection, you have to figure out which question the other person may be asking that they don’t know they are asking – that has to be answered in order for them to start feeling more comfortable.

The reason it’s important to figure out the unanswered question (and answer it), is because, in doing so, you help the other person get COMFORTABLE. The more comfortable they get, the more they trust you – because comfort, over time, leads to TRUST.

This is why ‘no’ (which hides the objection) is such an important flag. That’s because an objection can be a symptom of NO TRUST and the key to a referral is making sure the person you are asking now feels more comfortable with you and ultimately trusts you.

Now, here’s an interesting twist.

It works both ways.

If you are UNCOMFORTABLE  asking for a referral, it means ‘no trust’ is involved on your end, too.  You don’t trust yourself to ask for the referral effectively.

The quickest way to overcome this is to forgive yourself for being uncomfortable about asking for a referral, trust that you will do it effectively, and ask for it anyway.  In an upcoming blog, we will show how to qualify referrals better and build comfort and trust faster.