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Business Referrals, New Customer, Prospecting, Stacey Randall

TSE 1023: Generating Business Referrals…Without Asking

Business Referrals, New Customer, Prospecting, Stacey RandallWhen you bring value to customers and care for your clients, you’ve taken an important first step toward generating business referrals… without asking.

Stacey Brown Randall considers herself a contrarian in the sales world, because she believes that if you’re asking for referrals, you’re doing it wrong. She helps small business owners and solopreneurs generate referrals and she dispels myths about referrals.

She didn’t set out to focus on referrals, but after her first business failed, she discovered that business owners have to figure out how to touch business development every day. You also have to figure out the ways in which you’re willing to do it.

Tons of options

Sellers have countless options for bringing in clients and prospects to their pipelines, but they have to be options that the sellers are willing to do day-in, day-out.

When her own business failed, she asked herself what went wrong.

Although there was more than one mistake along the way, she realized that she never figured out how to fill her pipeline consistently. She never found an activity she was willing to do on a regular basis.

She researched and found that referrals offer an amazing way to bring in clients, and they’re often quicker to close. They also trust you before they ever meet you, and they are less price sensitive.

Everything about referrals is just better.

Referral piece

Stacey was determined to figure out the referral piece when she launched her second business, but all the information she could find said you had to ask for referrals.

To her, asking for a referral felt like a second-cousin to a cold call. She didn’t want to do it.

In order to help her second business be successful, she decided to figure out how to generate referrals without asking. Once she did that, she moved into teaching other people how to succeed in the same way.

Referral mistakes

Referrals are not about you.

If you ask for them, or make them part of your marketing plan and develop promotions around them, you’re making the referrals about you.

Stacey discovered that the sales process has three buckets: prospecting activities, marketing activities, and referral activities. What we do to generate referrals looks different than what we do compared to prospecting and marketing.

When I’m in prospecting mode, I’m looking for someone who will say yes within 30 days. With marketing, it’s a little more long-term but there is always an ultimate mindset.

Referrals, however, require different activities and a different mindset. The biggest mistake people make is treating their referral process like part of the prospecting effort. Or, they think about it like marketing and make it promotional and gimmicky.

Great work

If you’re going to hand off the client at some point, you have to make sure it’s a great process and great client experience.

Nobody refers to crappy work and no one refers a choppy customer experience. That’s a foundational piece, and none of these suggestions will work if you aren’t referrable. You must do the things that make people want to refer you.

The most important person in a referral process isn’t you and it isn’t your prospect; it’s your referral source. You must understand who is referring you.

Action steps

Begin by pulling out your list of clients, at least from the last two years, and figure out how those clients learned about you. (Pull data from as many years as you’re willing to do the work for.)

You may have this information in your CRM, or you may have to do some digging.

Determine who those people are that already referred you in the past, and begin there.

You’ll likely realize that you don’t have that many, and you’ll probably discover that you haven’t been intentional about building relationships with those people.

Figure out what you’re doing to take care of your referral sources.

Because sellers often get paid on commission, it’s tempting to move quickly from one client to the next. Sometimes sellers don’t recognize that it’s a lot of work to constantly seek the next big win.

Instead, sellers can spend their time doing activities they enjoy doing for people who know that they truly care. Then, the sellers can watch clients drop in their laps.

It saves a tremendous amount of time and money.

Your job

No one wakes up in the morning thinking about ways to make your job easier. They aren’t thinking about how they can refer you.

Your job is to make sure that you’re doing outreach to referral sources and that you’re being memorable and meaningful.

You want to use the right referral seed planting language so that you move into their subconscious. When you take care of people, they naturally want to take care of you back.

We want to be the person who is constantly giving to them so they think about us in a different way. When an opportunity arises, we want them thinking about us. It’s all about how we take care of people.

Top of mind

When you know who your referral sources are and you focus on them, you start to notice and develop patterns about those sources.

When Stacey was a business and productivity coach, she noticed that her niche happened to be working parents. Their world was her world. Her previous business failure gave her a unique perspective she could share.

She initiated a touchpoint that included “off-guard holidays.” In order to be meaningful, she sent Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts to her top referral sources.

She sent a Wonder Woman water bottle to the moms reminding them that they are heroes. It didn’t include Stacey’s logo and it wasn’t about her. It was about her client.

Those clients have never forgotten who sent that bottle. They were seen and recognized.

That effort can’t be a one-and-done. The touch points must accumulate over time.

Clients will always think about you in return when you’ve thought about them first. Anything you do must be all about them.

Planting seeds

Begin by using the word referral when you’re talking to your clients. When someone sends you someone, send them a hand-written thank you note that thanks the referrer by name.

It’s noticeable because it’s a thank you note that you took time to write.

Then, when people ask how your business is going, use the opportunity to plant a referral seed. Consider this: “You know, I on-boarded three new clients last week who were referred to me. I love receiving referrals because it tells me I’m doing something right with my business.”

Be honest, but plant the idea of referral. The seed may not always fall on fertile soil, but eventually, it will.

Aim for the 30 percent who will actually refer you.

Like the other steps, it must be a consistent effort that builds on itself. We’re seeking to create a habit for how our clients will behave.

“Generating Business Referrals…Without Asking” episode resources

You can connect with Stacey at staceybrownrandall.com where you can figure out your skill level at generating referrals by taking her Referral Ninja Quiz. The quiz identifies three different levels, and it will help you determine whether you should learn more about referrals.

Her website includes all kinds of free content to help you figure out how to move to the next level.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!



Sangram Vajre, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 960: TSE Hustler’s League – “$1 Million”

Sangram Vajre, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Most startups never reach the $1 million mark. Roughly 95 percent of startups will never achieve that level of revenue. On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we visit with Sangram Vajre, “The Accidental Evangelist,” about what he learned from building a company and how to achieve $1 million.

Sangram founded a company called Terminus, and he had a front-row seat to see what building truly looks like, and along the way, he achieved $20 million revenue in about a year and a half.


Most people who start a company begin because of a problem. They understand the problem but they quickly become product-obsessed rather than problem-obsessed. They believe their product will solve the problem, and it might, but they lose sight of the fact that no one has a perfect product right out of the gate.

The process is evolutionary.

Even Salesforce, which is a $10 billion dollar company, doesn’t have a perfect product. The company constantly adds and changes its products.

Don’t fantasize about the product. Instead, fantasize about the problem you want to solve. It’s a huge mind shift.

Sangram started a community called “Flip My Funnel” and he invited media, influencers, and even competitors to speak at the event.

Once everyone was talking about the problem, the market grew and Terminus was able to find its market.

Find problems

Become obsessed with the problem you’re trying to solve.

Figure out how big your market is. Determine the right use case that works for your company and then build a community around that use case.

If you’re selling a product to marketers, to B2B companies only, that’s the niche you want to carve out. You must dominate that vertical and own that topic.

Build a community and build ideas around that topic and galvanize everyone in the company and the community around that idea.

There’s so much power in singularly focusing on one topic so that you don’t get distracted in many other areas. 

The people who listen to you are going to win if they listen to you and they’ll become customers for life.

For Terminus, they defined their market as every B2B SaaS company with a certain revenue and a certain number of employees.

They focused on letting every one of the companies that could eventually be their future customers to know about them. They knew where they wanted to go, so they took the camp and went there and met with people.

Prospect thinking

Sangram said his thinking changed when he realized that, although no one wants to lose a prospect, it’s much more painful to lose a customer.

Your customer is someone you have an intentional relationship with. Sangram started calling everyone a customer or a future customer.

That means you have to know the company you’re trying to sell to and you have to know that they will benefit from what you’re trying to sell them.

If they don’t become customers today, it’s okay because they’ll become customers tomorrow.

Focus on only your future customers rather than focusing on everyone. The list should be short so that it matters to you if you lose one of them.

Words matter

The words we use matter. We’re all humans and emotions impact us.

During a discussion with Jay Baer, author of Talk Triggers, Sangram discovered that every single touchpoint is either building your brand or trashing your brand.

If you’re sending a newsletter every Wednesday but you aren’t sure that it’s truly adding value, you’ll never hear from those future customers. Every time you do something that isn’t adding value to their day or their life, you’re taking away from your brand.

Think about every touch point as something intentional.

Sales strategy

Although the sales strategy in the early days of Terminus wasn’t intentional, Sangram identified three things that helped the company be successful.

1. Rolling thunder

Every month you must do something to get the market’s attention. Do something oriented to your market. Something bigger than just a blog.

2. Big rocks

Many startups have a never-ending list of things to do. Instead, focus on the big rocks, or the things that will truly move the needle.

3. Small wins

Companies often neglect small wins. How do we celebrate small wins instead of focusing only on the big ones? Change your culture so that small wins matter as well. Small wins create the momentum that gets you over the big hill.

Say one “thank you” every day. Acknowledge your team with handwritten notes. Let them know that their work matters.

“$1 Million” episode resources

Connect with Sangram on Linked In or Twitter, and check out his podcast called Flip My Funnel.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Current Customer, New Deals, Opportunities, Donald Kelly

TSE 480: TSE Hustler’s League-“Current Customers Part 2”

Current Customer, New Deals, Opportunities, Donald Kelly

Learn how you can double your revenue with your current customers. Personally, I’d take 20 current customers that are buying more and more from me. Getting 20 new customers tends to be more expensive since you have to pay for marketing and sales.

Today’s snippet taken from one of our sessions at the TSE Hustler’s League is part 2 of how you can grow your business from your current customers. This is something you can definitely take and apply to your own sales process.

Last week, I talked about having and ATS or “After The Sales” Strategy that you can use to keep your customers to come back to you.

Here are the highlights of today’s episode:

What’s the next best thing to offer your customers?

The best time to make a sale is right after you make a sale. Upsell or give them the opportunity to purchase more of your products. Know what you should offer them as product 2 after your initial product. After your initial product, what can you best offer the prospect? And when should you offer them the upsell?


In my experience, my initial product was the software then my upsell #2 was training and upsell #3 was coaching. So I realized there are several different things that I could upsell them with.

Consider the lifetime value of your customers.

You could sell a software for $20,000 but the lifetime value of that customer may be well more than that because generally, if they buy that software, they’re more likely to buy x amount of licenses and over time, they may purchase other suites of products that can equal  to $100,000 or even more.

Think like an executive.

When you start thinking like an executive, that’s when you start making money. You don’t have to have a thousand clients but focus on 40-50 clients that continually purchase other stuff.

Understand their challenges.

More importantly, you’re not selling them crap but the things they need because once you understand their challenges, you can offer products or services according to what they need.

Determine the ATS path.

Look at your clients and see what products or services have you sold and what are the different sizes of businesses that you sold to. Look at what upsells you can offer these businesses and schedule times to call them. Create a ATS path where if they purchase product #1, you’re going to offer product #2 after three months, and then three months or a year later, offer product #3.

When is the best time to make a sale?

Again, the best time to make a sale is right after you make a sale. Strike while the iron is hot. Strike while they’re still saying yes.

Episode Resources:

Listen to Part 1 of Current Customers on TSE 475

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Current Customers, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

TSE 475: TSE Hustler’s League-“Current Customers”

Current Customers, The Sales Evangelist, Donald KellyGetting your customers to come back is the most difficult part in sales. This is why a lot of people don’t make it in sales. So make sure you get your customers to come back by having an ATS strategy. Today’s snippet taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about how you can grow your business through your current customers.

By the way, our new semester of the TSE Hustler’s League is coming on January 15, 2017 where we will be focusing on building value. Now that you’ve got a lead and a prospect, I’m teaching how you can build value to convert them from a prospect to a client. I would love for you to become a member of the group.

Here are the highlights of today’s episode:

My ATS (After The Sales) Strategy:

My client referred me to one of her counterparts who also loved what I was doing. Now that I’ve got two of them, I knew there were 22 others of them. So, here’s what I did to get new clients.

I bought some big, round balls from Walmart. I wrote down a note along with the client’s address and phone number. Then I asked my first client to write an email to these other people. (I actually wrote the email that she was going to send to her counterparts so all she had to do  was look, review, make a little changes, and then send it out to all of them.)

Three days later, I sent the ball in the mail. Then when I called them and told them I was the guy who sent the ball in the mail, what do you think their response was? Of course, they greeted me warmly.

Ways to double your revenue:

  1. Get more customers.
  2. Raise your prices.
  3. Get more from the current customers.

What you can do as an AFS strategy: The Initial Offer

Sell the product almost at a “revenue loss” just so that you can get the person as a customer because you have an ATS process that’s going to get you a lot more money. With the ATS strategy, you have primary product number 2, 3, and 4 or services.

Episode Resources:

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

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