Rhys: Joanne Black is America’s leading authority on referral selling a professional speaker, seminar leader and author of “No More Cold Calling: The breakthrough system that will leave your competition in the dust.” Warner Business book in hardcover and audio book, her book is based on lessons learned for over thirty years of sales and management experience and you don’t admit that to everyone?
Joanne: No, I don’t.
Rhys: Since founding the company in 1996, Joanne has built her business solely on referrals. So, this is your previous book, “No More Cold Calling” and you have a new book coming out which is called,
Joanne: “Pick up the Damn Phone”
Rhys: So you’re, you know, you have a very specific definition of referrals which I would like you to share with folks because I’ve been in some lead clubs and you get things that are not referrals but people somehow think they are, and where do people get messed up with that.
Joanne: They get messed up in a lot of ways. First of all, referral means you have an introduction. But you don’t want a referral introduction to just anybody, do you?
Joanne: Well here’s an example; I will introduce you Rhys to a connection of mine, because there’s a business reason I can communicate through my connection. Why they should take the meeting with you,
Joanne: Right? So you need to be clear with me exactly who you’re looking for and I will do my best to make that introduction. ‘Cause, otherwise you waste your time.
Rhys: So, what is it that we can do, to make sure that we enable people, to give us better referrals that is, what we can control?
Joanne: That’s right, we can. So we need to educate our referral source. We want to put good people together, and we want to make sure it’s the right fit. So it’s up to us to communicate, exactly who we’re looking for. If there’s someone you really want to meet, so it could be a certain level in a company, a certain kind of person, certain kind of business, certain business need, then you need to communicate that to a referral source. Who are you looking for, and I encourage people to be really, really specific. We’re afraid if we leave something out we don’t – won’t get any business.
Joanne: But I’ve seen too many times when someone has asked for a referral and they say, “Well it could be this person, and this person, and this person, and this kind of – and you know, you just get lost in all the comma’s.
Joanne: Right. I think the age of the generalist is gone, I really do. So, if you want an expert, wow, you’re going to be found, you want to make it easy for people to find you. When anybody thinks of a referral refers a company that, you know, I would like to build a referral business who do you think they call.
Rhys: Yes, yes that’s true.
Joanne: That’s correct.
Rhys: So, that, that brings us right to the next point. How does someone, a small business owner, develop a referral program that works for them?
Joanne: The first building block is what are the business results you typically deliver? What is the impact on the business?
Joanne: And, that’s why I’m going to introduce you…
Joanne: To a client of mine, or colleague, or friend, or whomever. Second, who are you looking for? Who’s your ideal client? Where do you want the introduction? In my case, it’s a VP sales or business owner. That’s exactly the person I need. The next building block is to look at all your sources of referrals and get your current clients up there. Because they are your best, they’re the low hanging fruit.
Joanne: We’re not asking all the time. Some people will say to me, well Joanna just started a new business. Well go back to your previous clients, and they refer you because they know they can trust you. You follow through; you will take care of your contacts, just as you took care of them. It’s really important. And then, all the people you know. Just make a list, and decide; where is it that you know people the best? And that’s where you want to start. And then the next is you’re just going to ask for one or two people they know that match that description of your ideal client. That’s it. Then you’re going to ask for the introduction.
Rhys: Now, the other thing you talked about some traps to avoid.
Rhys: And we want to definitely hit on that, what are some of the traps that people can get stuck in?
Joanne: A big one is that people haven’t built their skills in referral selling. They’ll say, “Well I’ve tried asking for referrals, and it just doesn’t work.”
Joanne: They haven’t built skills, they haven’t implemented. They haven’t practiced.
Joanne: Well you don’t get good at anything, without practice.
Joanne: Well it’s the same thing here. People, don’t know how to run a business, can’t resist but practice.
Joanne: And that’s what makes us good. So the people who really invest in themselves are the ones who come out way ahead on this.
Rhys: So Joanne, thanks for talking with us about this today. I know you help a lot of people, and I hope people get a lot out of it.
Joanne: I’m always glad to give referral tips Rhys, and you know I have a ton of those and other great resources on my website.
Rhys: Yeah, Joanne’s website is: nomorecoldcalling.com and you can find her contact information down at the bottom of this page. And if you want to delve more into this, we have the full length version of this interview and the link to that is down below as well. Thanks