MAKINGLIFE EASIERSALESLETTERIN THISISSUEI’m a fan of making things as easy aspossible. If there is a simple way todo somet...
2The RFP process - isitbroken?www.mgsalesperformance.comThis question and others werediscussed at the 5th MG Sales TalentN...
In our last edition weexplored the meaning ofthe ‘Challenger Sale’ andrevealed the shocking resultof The Corporate Executi...
www.mgsalesperformance.com4Up until a few years ago we lived in a world whenmost people had rising incomes. More than that... 5Here are the results:Converted new businessopportunities, oftenI, or my team are notusing so...
www.mgsalesperformance.com6The late Steve Jobs, co-founderof Apple, was one of the world’sgreatest presenters. His style a...
hello@mgsalesperformance.com7On Saturday 27th April,The Guardian(Comments page) called for a ban onmeetings to boost the U...
Ask immediately following the completion of asuccessful project. Don’t leave it too late. Once you’veprovided your service...
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May 2013 Issue of the MG Salesletter.

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MG Salesletter

  1. 1. MAKINGLIFE EASIERSALESLETTERIN THISISSUEI’m a fan of making things as easy aspossible. If there is a simple way todo something, I’ll do my best to findit. Life is busy enough without overcomplicating and over engineeringthe stuff we do on a day to day basis.I came across a great iphone app last week that has completely revolutionisedmy world and is saving me lots of time. The business card app eliminates theneed to type out business card details into databases and instead it’s just aneffortless photo and I’m up to date within seconds. My kind of app.The same is true of sales. If I can pitch to two highly targeted and qualifiedleads I’d rather do that than traipse around ten unqualified prospects. We allknow which strategy will reliably make the most sales but I’m unconvinced thatbusinesses spend enough time and energy focused on doing this.Targeting the right customer makes selling so much easier. There are loadsof potential customers out there but they’re not all going to be right for yourbusiness. Beige, bland trying to be all things to all people is an approach thatwastes time, has low returns and frankly screws up your sales and marketingefforts.By narrowing your line of sight you can take a sniper gun rather than a scattergun approach. And as a customer what would you rather have? A conversationwith someone that relates to you, who has tailored their message so that itresonates with your world and your life. Or alternatively, that generic, boringcommunication that relies on you working out the relevance and finding the fit.Remember, there’s no money in the middle!Happy readingMark GallenGiving sales leaders bite sized bits to boost sales performanceThe RFP process - broken?The secret of Steve Jobsp2p6New era in sales... or is it?Make time for meetingsSales NuggetsSocial Sellingp3p7p8p4ISSUE 2 / / MAY 2013www.mgsalesperformance.comMAKINGLIFE EASIERGiving sales leaders bite sized bits to boost sales performanceGiving sales leaders bite sized bits to boost sales performanceMAKINGLIFE EASIERGiving sales leaders bite sized bits to boost sales performance
  2. 2. 2The RFP process - isitbroken?www.mgsalesperformance.comThis question and others werediscussed at the 5th MG Sales TalentNetwork on Thursday 9th May - aquarterly invitation only event forsales leaders in hospitality andtravel.The panellists were MichaelHill, European Travel Manager, CocaCola; Roger Peters, Senior PurchasingManager, Cap Gemini; MichaelHeyward, Director of RevenueManagement, IHG and Danny Cockton,Account Manager, BSI.The panellists were invited to speak abouttheir key areas of frustration with the RFPprocess. Here’s what they said:“RFP tools – I’d rather use an excelspreadsheet!”Roger Peters of Cap Gemini kicked off thedebate explaining that in his view he seesa break down in the communication of thecorporate’s objectives as information ispassed down the chain – from corporate toagent and agent to hotel. He spoke aboutthe number of people involved in the chainand the lack of alignment with messagesdiluted or misunderstood. He went onto talk about his irritation with suppliers‘changing their minds’ about taking businesspost the RFP negotiation and lastly he spokeabout the increasing use of RFP tools that,in his opinion, don’t necessarily expediatethe process. “I’d rather use an excelspreadsheet”, he said.“Revenue Managers have responsibilityto educate procurement”Next up was Michael Heyward, Directorof Revenue Management for IHG. Michaeltalked about four of the parties in theprocess (procurement manager, travelmanager, hotel sales manager, hotel revenuemanager) and their differing objectives plusthe lack of understanding for each others’roles – resulting, he says, in conflict andcommunication break down. He sited hotelsales managers incentivised to drive revenueand volume regardless of ROI whereashotel revenue managers incentivised toachieve better rates than its competitiveset – everyone is on their own missionregardless of the other party. Michaelconceded that there is an enormous range inskill, experience and integrity in the revenuemanagement profession and he said thatthey have a responsibility to help educateprocurement around the science of revenuemanagement.Our last panellist, Danny Cockton,AccountManager at BSI agreed with the speakers.The RFP process he said is damned by itsfragmentation – no single technologyplatform, differing objectives of partiesinvolved, difficulty of loading rates onto GDS. Danny warned of the danger ofprocurement driving rate down and theimpact this has on the product quality. Andthere was a note of caution for the suppliers– no unsolicited bids. BSI, he said, will comeand find you if there is an opportunity to joina preferred hotel programme.The panellists were invited to respond toeach other’s comments and the floor wasopened to questions.“Don’t offer me a rate and then not letme in!”The corporate buyers aired their frustrationswith rates being offered during an RFPprocess that are then ‘closed out’ to thebookers. Roger went on to decry the directapproaches made to his bookers by hotelierstrying to win business through ‘the backdoor’. “If you want to be on my programme– tell me”, he said.“Let revenue managers attend thecustomer meeting”Michael Hill suggested that the hotel revenuemanagers should meet with buyers beforethe RFP negotiation meetings. He saidthat they should be in front of their topcustomers so that they can understand theirpoint of view and have a 360 perspective onevery account to help the decision process.Heyward of IHG responded stating that hotelsales managers often like the opportunityof coming out of negotiations to consultwith revenue so that they don’t committo ill considered deals. (A vote in the roomdetermined that some revenue managerswould need to upskill before suppliers wouldfeel comfortable about their face-to-faceattendance at negotiations). Heyward wenton to stress the irritation of buyers comingback post deal to renegotiate – “If I had abetter rate, I would have put it forward at thetime”, he said. This theme was picked up bya supplier in the audience who relayed howa corporate wanted to negotiate a two-yeardeal recently, in an effort to make processefficiencies, then pushed to renegotiate halfway through the contract.“Hotel Sales Managers – strong enoughfor tough conversations?”Coca Cola’s Michael Hill pushed backclaiming that travel managers wouldn’t bedoing their job if they didn’t respond tomarket forces – he explained that it isn’t aone-way street and that suppliers can alwaysapproach him with a business case to puttheir rates up in response to positive marketforces.Danny Cockton quipped “so you’d be happyto take a hit if market forces determined it?”“Not necessarily – he added that it dependson what those market forces are and whatare they benchmarked against”, said Michael.Concerns were muted about hotel salesmanagers and their ability to have toughconversations.The debate moved on to meetings andevents – an area our buyers consider to be ofincreasing importance to corporates althoughmost, they admit, don’t have an accuratehandle on their spend. “90% don’t knowtheir spend on meetings”, commented CapGemini’s Roger Peters.“Help us to help you generateincremental revenue”Michael went to say that the relationshipshouldn’t be one-sided and that Coca Colais keen to help suppliers create additionalrevenue e.g. F&B discounts, weekendpromotions etcThe debate drew to a close with a consensusin the room that face-to-face relationshipsare intrinsic to reaching mutual agreement innegotiations. “Face- to-face meetings ensurethat suppliers get a better understandingof our objectives and what we’re trying todeliver”, said Cap Gemini’s Roger Peters. “Asa result of a strong relationship and meetingin person, I have recently made a concessionon a rate in one location because it allowedme to get a better deal in another.”
  3. 3. In our last edition weexplored the meaning ofthe ‘Challenger Sale’ andrevealed the shocking resultof The Corporate ExecutiveBoard’s research…salespeople with ‘the Challenger’profile consistentlyoutperform all others by67% (that means theybring in 67% more revenuethan sales people of otherprofiles).‘the biggest shock toconventional sales wisdom indecades’As you might imagine, we hada big response to this articleso we ran two free webinars inApril explaining more about theconcept; but the one overridingquestion we were asked was….…..I love it,but how do I makeit happen in my business?So, a reminder for you first. Hereis the profile of ‘the Challenger’– remember these lovely peopleare proven to bring in 67% morerevenue than your other teammembersThe Challenger - always hasa different view of the world,understands the customer’sbusiness, and loves to debate,pushes the customer.There are 3 things thatChallengers do differently. Inthis article we’re looking at thefirst thing they do differently:They teach the customerduring the salesinteractionThey tailor their insightsto the different types ofcustomerThey take control of thesale“72% improved customersatisfaction as a result of thechallenger sale approach”Corporate Executive BoardThis is your 10 minute low downanswering the pressing question‘how do I teach the customerduring a sales interaction?Identify your valuepropositionWhy should customer’s buyfrom you rather than any of yourcompetitors?This is a really difficult questionfor most company’s to answer.Once you’ve crossed off theusual suspects of ‘innovative’,‘solutions-orientated’,‘greatpeople’,‘trusted’ etc, it gets hardto clearly define the compellingreason why customers shouldbuy from you instead of anybodyelse. Often you’ll need customerinterviews, market research, dataanalysis of customer spendingpatterns and cross-functionalbrainstorming sessions to comeup with the answer.Turn the insights intocommercial teachingconversationsThe goal of this conversationmight be to change the waythat people think about yourorganization, to tell themsomething about their businessthat they don’t know or merelyto provoke a response or athought. This conversationbecomes an initiator of almostevery new business sales callbecause it absolutely hitsthe heart of your company’sdifferentiated value proposition.The OpeningThe aim is to get the customerpulled into the conversationright away and talking abouttheir challenges relative towhat you have already seenat other companies. Leadingwith a hypothesis of customerneed rather than an open-ended question to ‘discover’ thecustomer need, is more like twocolleagues commiserating aboutcommon challenges and less likea typical sales presentation –consequently way more engagingfor the customer.The science bitNow you need to start teachingthe customer something new.At this point the sales personmight refer to data, surveys orreports that highlight a differentway of doing or thinking aboutsomething – usually to help savethem time or money in theirpurchase of your product/service.The reframe is all about gettingyour customer to say “I’d neverreally thought about it like thatbefore”.The Business CaseNow you’re ready tobuild a compelling businesscase for why it matters.Thisis an effective means to turninterest into action that makesthe customer feel discomfortaround a problem they neverrealized they had. You shouldfind yourself answering thecustomer’s question “What doesthis mean for us?”Emotional ImpactYou paint the picture usingstories and real customerbehaviour to describe the painof what happens currently. Yourstory is intentionally designed togenerate an emotional responsefrom your customer. Theyshould see themselves in thepicture you’re painting. Theyshould feel the pain as if it weretheir story you were telling.They should say to you “Wow,you know us too well!”New WayImagine what it wouldmean to you if there was asolution to this pain?This final part of theconversation is where for thefirst time you start talking abouthow your company is uniquelypositioned to help solve the pain.All of the hard work you did tomap out your company’s uniquevalue proposition is now laidout, specifically in terms of howyou can help the customer solvethe challenge that you have justtaught them they have.And here’s an example of acatering company who uses thechallenger sale approachThe company provides cateringto various customer groups –one of which is training. Usinginterviewand focus groups,they found that trainersdon’t like venues providinghigh carbohydrate, fatty foodsat lunchtime – sandwiches,chips, baguettes, onion ringsetc. They felt that trainees weresluggish after lunch and theywere concerned that it affectedtheir learning and engagement.The caterer explored existingresearch on this topic and theywere able to confirm there wasa direct link. More importantlythey discovered foods thathave been found to be goodfor cognitive memory and theydesigned their menus for trainingcourses around these foodgroups.Passing this information anddata to the sales people hasallowed them to conductmeetings in way that completelydifferentiates them from theircompetitors. They are thecatering company that reallyunderstands their trainingcustomer, they teach aboutfood for enhanced learning andmemory and as a consequencethey report an uplift inconversions.Free Webinar – advanced versionSome of you are developing areal appetite for this conceptand we’ve been asked to runanother free webinar taking theconcepts into more detail. Ifyou’re interested in learningmore about this free challengersale webinar (advanced version)get in touch athello@mgsalesperformance.comAnd if you missed ourfirst challenger salewebinar and want tosee the recording letus know and we’ll sendyou the link.What does the Challenger Salelook like in my business?23217654313hello@mgsalesperformance.cominterviewand focus groups,What does the Challenger Sale
  4. 4. www.mgsalesperformance.com4Up until a few years ago we lived in a world whenmost people had rising incomes. More than that,they were enjoying easier access to credit. Risingcredit limit on cards, unrequested credit cardsarriving in the post, sometimes addressed to theirdog, easy acceptance for loans and of course, arising property market, so people could remortgagetwice a year if they wanted to.SOCIAL SELLING- Like selling ice to eskimosPeople felt like they were getting richer andthey were happy to be parted from theirmoney. People were buying stuff. Shoppingbecame a recreational activity. A way tospend your weekend. A way of life.In this favourable environment, manybusinesses didn’t need to sell. They just hadto answer the phone and quote the rate forbuyers to buy; because those buyers werequickly and easily parted from their cash.The so called ‘sales people’ from this era wereapparently amazing. They exceeded theirtargets in 2004. They won awards for sellingin 2005. They were in the presidents club in2006. But yet they weren’t REALLY selling.They were simply there with hotel rooms,meeting spaces, apartments ready andavailable to buy. They were glorified ordertakers. Rarely having to close a sale, rarelyhaving to handle an objection.Now let’s fast forward to today. Having beentold what fantastic sales people they were inthe good times, these people KNOW that theproblem isn’t them. How can it be? They’restill doing the exact same thing, but theresults they’re getting are – in most cases –very different. Let me repeat that. They’restill doing the exact same thing…. and yetthe sales landscape in 2013 has significantlychanged. Hmmm, maybe that’s why theirresults are very different from the heady daysof the mid noughties!Today customers no longer have lots ofmoney Customers are risk averse. Customersare taking longer to decide. Consequentlythe rules for selling have also changed.Let’s look at just a few ways in which it haschanged:Decision makers have got cuteat being unavailablePeople are busy. They use the internet toresearch information about products orservices that interest them. Customers rarelywant companies phoning to tell them aboutthe features of their product, so insteadthey brief their gatekeepers to field the calls.Getting hold of the right person in 2013 islike hens teeth.Dialling for dollarsNobody likes generic, bland conversations.Working off lists or databases making roboticcalls where the conversation takes a verysimilar, almost scripted approach, is badnews. Customers won’t tolerate it anymore.Sell the way customers want tobuyCustomers, just like you and I, don’t wantto be overtly sold to. If it sounds like a ‘sell’they are psychologically turned off. However,if customers feel that they have discoveredsomething for themselves (not in a salesenvironment), they are much more likely towarm to it and take action.This isn’t just me saying this. Here is some ofthe data that supports my comments:• 73% of decision makers won’t accept aninbound cold call• In 2006 it took 4 calls to reach a decisionmaker, by 2011 it took 41 callsSource: Market TransformationsProspect differentlySo the old approaches just aren’t workingany more. For success in 2013, sales teamsneed to do things differently.Social selling is a new approach wheresales people target very specific prospectsby finding them, engaging them bydemonstrating value and above all bydifferentiating themselves in their approach.Here’s some of the social selling activitiesthat the high performing sales people areundertaking in 2013:Seduce the customers beforepicking the phone upThey build a relationship with their prospectsover a period of time that is based ontrust and credibility. They know that theirprospects have got to get to know them sothat they have the confidence to take thenext steps. By using a seduction plan withlots of little ‘touch’ points that build therelationship; they know that by the time theyget to make their telephone calls, they will beinfinitely easier.Use the different contact toolsavailableThey know that Linkedin has a 25% responserate versus outlook mail which is about 1%.They use Linkedin to build targeted lead lists,make connections and ‘hang out’ in a relaxednon threatening space. They use direct mail,e-shots, twitter and internet search enginesas the means to make the ‘touch’ points priorto the telephone call.Research so that you can tailorThey know that by researching theirprospects they can tailor their conversationsso that they resonate with the customer andstrike to the heart of the problem. Knowing‘what keeps them up at night’, what theirinterests are, who they have in common etc,will allow them to tailor and engage.Social selling survey withhospitality sales peopleSo, we thought we’d find out to what extentsocial selling is being practised by salesprofessionals in the hospitality industry.Wewanted to know who is ahead of the packand who is being left behind in the socialselling stakes.
  5. 5. 5Here are the results:Converted new businessopportunities, oftenI, or my team are notusing social media -period!I, or my team are notusing social media forsalesStill enganging, nobusiness opportunity yetReceived enquiry(s), asyet unconvertedConverted newbusiness opportunities,occasionally35%7.5%2.5%35%15%20%Survey conducted by MG Sales PerformanceA whopping 35% of respondees are notusing social selling and a further 7.5% haveno plans to use social media for marketingpurposes at all.17% of savvy sales people getaheadWhereas 17% of your competitors are aheadof the game and they are either occasionallyor frequently receiving new sales leadsthrough their social selling activities. Usingthe power of the internet search engine andthe social web, savvy sales people no longerhave to spend hours cold calling.And they’regetting some really powerful results.A global hotel company we know has beenembracing social selling over the pastfew months. The sales team have beenprospecting in a completely different wayand making contacts with people that upuntil trying their different approach, they hadbeen unable to reach.They’re using LinkedInand Inmail to reach the key prospects andas a result have had some very positivemeetings and opportunities.Selling without leaving theofficeAnother hotel company has been working onthis concept for a number of months. Theyhave completely restructured their teamand they are in the process of rolling out avirtual sales model that revolutionises salesas we have traditionally known it in the hotelsector to date. The virtual sales role is basedon the premise of using the internet, thesocial web and online communities to engagewith customers, deliver value and exceptionalcustomer service. We watch with interest tosee how things develop.So where are you? In the 17% super smartleading sales talent category or are you inthe 83% that are falling behind? If you haveany social selling success stories that you’dlike to share, I’d love to hear from you.Our thanks to Erika Bucsi,Head of MICE Strategy atNovotel London Hammersmithfor recommending us to TheBrewery.Thanks and best wishes to our friendSimon Kerr, Commercial Director atComo Hotels who recommended usto Vicki Richards, Director of Sales andMarketing at Grosvenor House Hotel.Thanks!Erika,you’re a star!CheersSimon !
  6. 6. www.mgsalesperformance.com6The late Steve Jobs, co-founderof Apple, was one of the world’sgreatest presenters. His style andshowmanship was legendary andthey set the standard for awe-inspiring presentations. If youneed to deliver presentations thatmake people care about what youdo – and that generate results foryour business – then you needto study from the master. In thisbook Carmine Gallo reveals theoperating system behind a SteveJobs presentation and providesyou with a step- by-step guideto design your own passionateinterfaces with your audience.Here’s our summary of the mainpoints in the book.Gallo divides the book into 3main parts:Act one - Create the storyAct two - Deliver the experienceAct three - Refine and rehearseAct one – Create the storyScene one – Plan an analogueMost of your time should be spent planning.Unless you want a really boring presentation,don’t just open your laptop and start typingbullet points into power point. Only onethird of your time should be spent buildingthe slides.Scene two – Answer the one question thatmatters mostJob’s focus was always on why the listenershould care. Spend time explaining the ‘why’before you attempt to explain the ‘how’.Nobody cares what you are selling until theyunderstand how it will impact their lives.Most presenters either ignore this pointcompletely or they make it so complicatedthat the listener tunes out.Scene three – Build a messianic sense ofpurposeFor Steve Jobs it was never about buildingcomputers it was about developing tools thathelped us tap our potential. It was aboutmaking our lives better. Jobs said “The onlyway to do great work is to love what you do”.Unless your presentations ooze the sameamount of passion you can’t expect youraudience to ‘buy you’.Scene four – Create twitterlike headlinesJobs was brilliant at creating headlines withimpact, that were so memorable and sexythat the press ran with them (rather than re-writing as they are usually apt to do). Hereare two examples ‘MacBook Air:the world’sthinnest notebook’;‘Apple’s new iPod Touchputs a 1000 songs in your pocket’Scene five – Draw a road mapRather than following the conventionalapproach of agenda and detailed points(audience eyes glaze over), Jobs gave a verbalroad map of the key points he would address.Do this by writing a list of the points youwant to cover then shortlist down to yourkey 3 points – no more.Scene six – Introduce an AntagonistJobs’s messages appealed to a commonmission and a specific enemy. It’s Job’s ‘usversus them’ approach that has been behindmuch of Apple’s raving loyalty.How do you do this? Set up the problem,describe why your buyer’s need yoursolution, identify with their pain. And for anadded bonus introduce a common enemy.ActTwo – Deliver the experienceThe author describes Jobs’s crowd-pleasingtechniques ranging from:• Minimal use of words on slides, favouringinstead memorable imagery to conciselyconvey a message• Presenting numbers in a way that theyresonate with the audience. At Macworld2008, Jobs told his audience that they hadsold four million iPhones. He then wenton to say that if you divide four million bytwo hundred days, that’s twenty thousandiPhones every day. He went on to explainthat this matched the combined marketshare of its well established competitors. Hemade the numbers mean something.• Use unconventional, fun words that reallystand out ‘we made the buttons on thescreen look so good, you’ll want to lick them’.• Share the stage to create variety andinterest – he knew that people have a shortattention span so he invited other speakersto the microphone.• Use props and demos to appeal to somepeople’s preferred senses of sight, touch,smellReveal a holy shit moment – an audible ‘holyshit’ from your audience as you reveal yoursensation after you have slowly built to yourclimax.ActThree – Refine and RehearseThe last section of the book reminds us ofthe key lessons for effective and memorablepresentations – practise!Steve Jobs was a master presenter and yet hewould practise for two days on a five minutepresentation and ask for feedback from all hisproduct managers.If you’re going to give a knock outpresentation you must focus on every slide,every demo and every key message. Youmust know what you are going to say, whenyou are going to say it and exactly how youwill say it.Jobs knew what too many presenters don’t –people want to be informed and entertained.He taught people something new and had ablast whilst doing it.How to beinsanely goodin front of anyaudience
  7. 7. hello@mgsalesperformance.com7On Saturday 27th April,The Guardian(Comments page) called for a ban onmeetings to boost the UK economy.It claimed too much time is wastedin meetings, and if everyone ‘just goton with their work’, industry wouldbe more productive, thus bringing theeconomy back on track.My first reaction was to completely reject this comment;this flies in the face of everything we stand for. Being aprofessional meetings industry, we’re here to championthe cause of meetings and their place in UK businesses.However, on reflection, we have to take someresponsibility for this statement. Perhaps we’re failing tocommunicate the effectiveness and role of meetings.Our responsibility as meeting planners is to ask thecustomer the right questions to help them create asuccessful meeting.What is the meeting for, what will itachieve? Is it to inform, consult, drive change, or createsomething? It has to be one of these four; if not, youprobably don’t need the meeting.We should be responsible for helping customers achievegreat results from their meetings – finding out what’simportant to the meeting’s success, understanding thecustomer’s concerns and worries so that we can managetheir frustrations and deliver meetings that truly achievethe desired outcomes.The measure of effectiveness for a meeting for a hotel orvenue sales professional is, of course, the conversion ofbusiness: however, sales leaders can also utilise a well-planned and structured meeting to re-launch, re-energizeor re-engage a tired or dormant team, product, sales forceor strategy.When used effectively, the meeting is the most valuabletool any sales leader has at his or her disposal. Internally,a well-positioned and organised appointment can refocusa pitch or business on its goals and objectives, increasingits chances of achieving them.A well-placed, timed andmanaged meeting creates dynamic strategy to achievesuccess; without direction, a business or team will at bestmeander, eventually go off track, or stop altogether.As responsible leaders, it’s our duty to champion theeffective meeting, and not allow lazy planning to makemeetings time-wasting, needless activities.Now, join the campaign to make meetings more effective!Chris is the 2013 Chairman of the HBAA and managingdirector of Absolute Corporate EventsChris Parnham“Make Time for Meetings”Don’t miss this!One of the best dates for your diary in Juneis the Sales Management and PerformanceExhibition, 6-7 June 2013, Excel London.Author of ‘Selling for Dummies’ Ben Kench,4Networking founder Brad Burton andOlympic rower Ben Hunt Davies are justsome of the speakers at this truly focusedand insightful sales event.w w w . s m p l i v e . c o . u k
  8. 8. Ask immediately following the completion of asuccessful project. Don’t leave it too late. Once you’veprovided your service, customer’s tend to move on to the nextbig focus and no matter how willing they appeared to makean introduction at the start, they loose interest once the job iscomplete.Ask in person not on a follow up questionnaire.Customer’s are unlikely to be motivated to do you afavour unless you seem motivated and interested yourself.Referrals and introductions are usually seen as a personal favourand a lot of trust is required for customer’s to ‘risk’ making arecommendation.You could even ask in advance and make it a conditionof the sale. For instance “I will go ahead and confirm themeeting room for the Tuesday at the rate agreed, but in returnI’d really like an introduction to your colleagues in marketing”.Ensure the referral is communicated both ways.A nameand contact details is simply a cold lead whereas anintroduction is based on warmth, goodwill and trust.Incentivise your customers to give you a referral. Lack oftime, apathy and maybe a perceived risk can make somecustomers reluctant to give you the referral so an incentivethat rewards both the referrer and the referee can make thedifference. Make sure that the ‘reward’ has the same perceivedvalue for both parties.One of the easiest ways to get new business has got to be to ask your satisfiedcustomers for a referral or introduction to someone in their network. They like yourwork, they like your product or service so why not go the extra step and ask? Itseems simple but few of us do. Is that our ‘Britishness’ stopping us from asking thegolden question? Here’s a few ideas to help you make the process easier:8 - hello@mgsalesperformance.com12345Sales NuggetsAsk for referralsFrom an HBA customerHow much money should I spendon completing RFP’s? We have justdecided to pursue the RFP route as away of winning new business.MG saysThis is the wrong question. It isn’thow much money you should spendon completing RFP’s, the questionis what is the forecasted return onpursuing a RFP strategy? Quitesimply if you forecast a decentreturn then it’s going to be a no-brainer in terms of what you’reprepared to invest to get it!From a participant on atraining courseHow do I get past gatekeepers whenthe company operates a ‘no namepolicy’.MG saysGo to LinkedIn first. Find the personyou’re looking for, do some researchon them, see how you’re connectedand then make the call. If theperson you want isn’t on LinkedIn,find another person from the samecompany, call the gatekeeper and gettransferred to the named individual.Ask them for their help and usuallythey will help you find the contactyou need. No name policies rarelyexist beyond the gatekeeper level.Another tip for you is to contact theindividual via LinkedIn groups. Fewpeople realise that you can inmailanyone via groups whether they area connection or not.Q&A - ask MG a question