Referral roulette

Ever played roulette? You pick certain numbers and bet that they will be the winners when the roulette wheel stops spinning.

Is that what you’re doing with your sales career? Are you betting that you’ll sell a certain number of new homes by the end of 2011, but you’re leaving it up to chance instead of making changes?

You need to ask yourself: “Doing what I’m doing right now, what can I expect from my business this year if I make no changes? Selling the way I’m selling, could I be missing any potential buyers?”

If you decide that you want more sales in 2011, then the next question is: “What am I going to do differently?”

One of the first items on that list should be to review and improve your current referral- gathering strategy.

I ask new home salespeople, “What are you doing to gather referrals on a daily and consistent basis?” Most of them can’t answer that question because obtaining referrals actually requires a strategy, and they have none.

If you fall into that category, here’s what you need to do: Stop thinking like a salesperson and think like a business person. Business people think long term. They have an action plan, are motivated to keep customer satisfaction high and are always on the lookout for ways to broaden their customer base. Clients respect a good businessperson … often more than a good salesperson.

When you ask for referrals, explain the importance of having referrals in your business and how you make it a priority to maintain these relationships. Solicit feedback from your buyers on how you could have served them better. Tell them you have worked to earn their respect and hope that they are comfortable recommending you to their friends and family.

Then do what 90% of new home salespeople don’t do … ask for referrals. You may only get a couple of names, but consider this: At the end of the year, if you have averaged three sales per month and two referrals per sale, you will have acquired 72 warm leads that you would not have had otherwise.

Want to increase sales? Don’t leave it up to chance. Getting referrals should be a routine … not a roulette game.

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