Traditionally corporate sales teams rely on big marketing and branding budgets to generate leads that their salespeople then follow up with and work to close the sale. There are two main trends affecting the sustainability of this model:
First, as the general population has grown increasingly numb to marketing messages, the response to those messages is declining. The leads are drying up. There are fewer and fewer actual leads for these corporate sales teams to follow up with.
Second, consumers see big corporations as untrustworthy. Local businesses are doing so well on social media because we trust the people we know, and we know the people on social media. Corporations without a social media presence are not building that trust.
As I talk to more and more corporate sales teams, it is clear that there is a push for more “Self-Generated Business,” business the individuals bring in themselves.
When a salesperson leads with relationship, giving value, and being a trusted member of the community, they can tap into the marketplace and find a niche for referrals. Following a referral marketing system, like Certified Networker®, can generate those much desired self-generated business sales.
Referral business is highly effective because it starts with a trusted relationship. When people refer, they do not refer a corporation. Instead, people refer a specific person: “You have to talk to so-and-and-so.” By putting highly relational salespeople into the local marketplace to develop a focused networking and referral marketing strategy, corporations would have people creating trusted relationships within communities and will earn more referral business.
Will corporations adopt this strategy? Most will not. They will dangle a few carrots out to the consumer, “get $100 when you refer us someone who signs up for service,” and have their salespeople promote the promotion; and they will believe they have a referral strategy.
Who will adopt this strategy? Only a few, very smart, salespeople. And they may have to go at it without the backing of their boss…. But they will get results. And surpass their quotas. And enjoy their career and their life more with the quality referral relationships they build.