Unbound Growth Blog

Referrals Are the True Goal of the Sales Process

Posted by Carole Mahoney

 3/24/15 11:40 AM

My grandmother founded and ran one of the first female owned real estate agencies in MA in the late 70’s early 80’s (so I am told). Every month there was a real estate association networking meeting where brokers would network and get to know each other. One event I remember well from the summers I spent with her when I was little. (I recall it still because she made us go with her to the salon for perms and then to the mall for new dresses.)

That month was a special event celebrating one of the most successful regional brokers recent retirement announcement. When I asked her what was so special about it, she said “Because this means he is referring out work to his Rolodex, I want to be sure my card is in that Rolodex.”

For her, referral business was the only type worth going after and it's still true today.

How sales leaders and entrepreneurs build their Rolodex today is different because of what technology allows you to do. Content that you create gets shared by people who like how you think. Sure, you can get found on social media, search engines, in person at events (which are shared in social media and search engines) by anyone- whether it is prospects, partners, or competitors. 


But how you sell, and who your content attracts is especially important for startups, solo entrepreneurs, and service based businesses looking to scale and grow because referrals are the best way to get better, bigger, and faster deals.

Even though the last module of our sales training is about referrals, I believe in starting with the end in mind. So we mention referrals though out training as part of the sales process (ex: getting from influencers to decision makers is a referral process).

The "it's not about me (you)" mindset that I preach is all with the intention of building businesses based on referrals.

Why are referrals so important?

I don't really have to answer that do I? Ok, maybe we all need to be reminded from time to time that referrals are the best and easiest way to accelerate the sales process. The sales that comes from a referral usually closes for more, faster, and leads to even more referrals.

Referrals turn the typical sales and marketing funnel upside down. (Talk about making a distrupting an industry!) Imagine what happens when you go from this:



To this:


Are you starting with the end in mind in your sales process? Why is this so important for entrepreneurs who sell and need to scale? Why is this so much more important for service based small businesses in a competitive industry? 

How do you build a referral mindset into your sales process, or sales culture? Post your comment below!

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Topics: sales, referrals

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