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It’s hard to find new customers… anyone in sales will tell you that, so if there were a way of getting potential customers to contact you directly, life would be so much easier wouldn’t it?

Marketing activities certainly help generate possible interest, but there are things sales people can do themselves to help add leads and opportunities to the pipeline.

Hubspot recently published some fascinating statistics about selling, including these:

• Eighty-four percent of buyers now kick off their buying process with a referral.
• Nine in ten buying decisions are made with peer recommendations.
• Ninety-two percent of buyers trust referrals from people they know.

Which is great don’t you think?

Except that getting leads this way assumes that your potential customer is already aware of you. So why don’t sales people ask for referrals? It’s common sense isn’t it?.. especially when you consider that…..

• After a positive experience, 83% of customers would be happy to provide a referral. But salespeople aren’t asking – just 29% of customers end up giving a referral.
• About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers.

So it you’ve successfully made a sale, delivered on your promises and the value that the customer bought into with your product or service, then ask for a referral.