You never know who your next referral will come from (or not)
The hard way to build your business base is to crab your way through one sales call after another hoping that your pitch, your skillful handling of objections, and your super duper closing skills will make some sales and help you reach your goals.
That’s traditional sales. Purely transactional. I’m the seller, you’re the buyer, let’s do business.
If you believe that’s working for you these days, you’re either extremely lucky or, well, delusional.
If everybody sells (yes, I assert it's true) it stands to reason then everybody can unsell. Your receptionist can unsell, your accounting department can unsell, your CEO can unsell, et cetera, et cetera.
What does it mean to unsell?
One of the things it means is to sabotage your brand promise. What is your unique value proposition? Is it your fabulous customer service? If so, how do you treat people trying to do business with you? Do you answer all phone calls promptly? Does your accounting department have a proactive, win-win attitude in all internal and external communications? Does your CEO think of herself as the company’s Number One customer service agent?
Another thing unselling means is to ignore the fact that we live in an extremely connected world. An environment of social networking, influentials, and dynamic interdependence. Your success or failure can depend on “ratings” created by people you barely know.
Has your inconsistency, inadvertent rudeness, failure to live up to your promise damaged your potential business relationships?
Referrals are based on positive experience, positive brand awareness, and positive relationships you’ve created with folks that you know and folks you may not know so well. You may not know the influentials in your community who have the ability to help or harm your business prospects, but their impression of you counts.
If you’re building your business (and who isn’t?), the most important single thing you can do is to identify the folks whose sneezes will spread the virus you want spread. If you dis the wrong person, no antibiotic in the world will save you.