4 Strategies to Convert Prospects Into Valuable Referral Sources

Lauren Hintz
Lauren Hintz





As strangers move through the sales funnel to become leads, opportunities, then customers, every interaction they have with your company -- from engaging with marketing content, to email conversations with sales, to a kickoff call with your customer service team -- is an opportunity to turn a stranger into a brand promoter.

What business wouldn’t want to get their hands on loads of customers eager to bring referrals to them?

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As an inbound salesperson, you’re the translator between the generic messaging found on your company’s website and the unique needs of your buyer. Prospects want to know how features are specifically going to help them and their specific situation. Prospects also want to know that you care about more than just closing the deal. They want you to genuinely care about their needs aren’t a shark looking to take their money. This tailored sales experience is what turns visits into leads into happy customers who are promoters of your brand.


Here are four ways to not only advise your prospect, but also delight them throughout the sales process and lay the foundation for future referrals and more business.

1) Demonstrate that you’re an active listener.

With each call during the sales process, provide a recap of what you’ve previously learned. The beginning of each conversation should be all about restating where the prospect is now and the insights you’ve gleaned from your earlier conversations. This includes what challenges you’ve discovered that your prospect has.

2) Be a helper and suggest ways to achieve their goals.

Craft a customized presentation that connects your prospect’s goals and challenges to your offering, and shows exactly how they’ll benefit with your service. Customization means more than simply slapping the prospect company’s logo on the first slide in a generic PowerPoint presentation.

To customize a sales presentation:

  • Clearly explain your buyer’s unique challenge. This also sets you up to uniquely position your product as the solution.
  • Include pros and cons of different solution options.
  • Use the same language your prospect uses. For example, if they refer to their customers as “clients,” use that same terminology.
  • Explain to your prospect the resources that are available to them after they become a customer.

3) Make helpful recommendations that don’t 100% relate to your product.

Did you find overlooked detail that is contributing to their challenges? Do you see a quick win for their challenge they can implement without your product? These are all small details that add up big in building trust with a prospect.

4) Confirm budget, authority, and timeline on your prospect’s terms, not yours.

Based on what it takes to set up their account and implement your solution, work backwards to determine when your prospect should sign your contract -- even if it’s not your ideal timeline. You should always make sure your timeline is built around your prospect’s needs, not yours.

Inbound salespeople need to take the experience that Marketing created for that lead and continue it through the sales cycle. 

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Topics: Referral Sales

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