How To Use Referral Selling To Drive Qualified Leads And Generate Sales, with Joanne Black, Episode #126


Subscribe to Selling With Social

Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Google Podcasts

Referral Selling: It sounds like the holy grail of and customer acquisition, and my guest on this episode of #SellingWithSocial insists that it is all of that and more. Joanne Black says that getting referrals is a matter of building a systematic approach that eliminates the need for cold calling and puts truly qualified leads into the pipeline.

Joanne has made it her business to become the foremost expert on referral selling and during this conversation, we discuss why sales teams don’t make the most of referrals, how referral selling is done incorrectly, and what can be done to develop a referral selling culture that drives your sales organization.

Joanne speaks at sales meetings and conferences around the world, presenting the content she shares on this episode as part of her signature talk “Referrals Are Retro: How to Build a Referral Culture in a Digital World.” Be sure you listen!

Learn how to use #referral selling to drive qualified leads and generate #sales, with @M_3Jr, CEO of Vengreso and guest Joanne Black (@ReferralSales), on this episode of #SellingWithSocial. Listen! @Gong_io #Gong #RevenueSuccessClick To Tweet

This episode is brought to you by, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to to get started.

Referrals Are The Fastest Driver Of Revenue

You may not be aware of this fact, but referrals are the number one driver of revenue. The reason they are is simple: When you receive a referral you’ve been handed a gift-wrapped warm lead from someone who has already earned the trust of that lead. As you reach out to that referral, you’re riding on the trust the referrer has already established.

That gives you a huge competitive advantage when it comes to closing more deals, which is why gaining more sales referrals is a key to accelerating your sales pipeline.

So, when you call to set an appointment with a referral, you get the meeting. But even more important, when you get referrals by asking the right questions you can be assured that every single one of those referrals is a QUALIFIED lead added to your pipeline.

In this episode, Joanne shares how you should ask for referrals and reveals the exact questions you should ask to qualify those referrals. In fact, if you listen you’ll hear Joanne put ME on the hotseat as I offer my own qualifying questions and receive Jonanne’s critique. She sets me straight more than once! Listen to learn how you can increase your referral skills by asking the right questions.

Do You Believe These Common Misconceptions About Selling By Referral?

Though most sales leaders agree that selling by referral is the best way to gain qualified leads, most of the members of their teams are NOT getting referrals consistently. Why is that? Joanne says there are a handful of myths about referrals that cause most of the problem.

Myth 1: Telling salespeople to get referrals is all you need

Myth 2: Selling by referral takes too long

Myth 3: It’s not appropriate to ask clients for referrals because they pay you

Myth 4: Referral selling is easy

In this conversation, Joanne reveals why each of these myths is wrong and explains what can be done to dispel them and create a referral generating culture in your sales organization.

Do you believe the common myths about #selling by #referral? Listen as @M_3Jr, CEO of Vengreso and guest Joanne Black (@ReferralSales) dispel them, on this episode of #SellingWithSocial. @Gong_io #Gong #RevenueSuccessClick To Tweet

The Best Process To Build Referral Sales

During this conversation, Joanne points out that sales leaders can’t simply tell their reps to ask for referrals and expect it to happen. It won’t. You’ve got to have a systematic approach to referrals that makes the practice part of your organization’s selling DNA. She calls it a “referral selling process.”

Here are the 3 steps Joanne says must be a part of every referral selling process:

1 – Strategy – this includes setting clear achievable goals, time frames, and methods of measurement.

2 -Skills – this includes learning HOW to ask for referrals, what kind of referrals to ask for, and how to qualify the referrals you receive.

3 – Execution – this includes involving the people in your organization who are willing to learn, willing to be accountable, and open to being coached through the process.

If you take Joanne’s advice and truly focus on your referral approach, you’ll see referrals become your leading source of qualified leads and sales conversions. So listen to this episode to find out exactly how to coach your sales team to effective referral selling.

The Biggest Missed Opportunity For Referrals: Current Clients

When I asked Joanne to tell me the biggest missed opportunity for referrals, she didn’t hesitate. It’s current clients. To illustrate, she tells the story of how, at a recent speaking engagement, she asked the sales leaders in the room how many of them had asked 100% of their current customers for a referral. Nobody raised their hand. She asked again, how many had asked half of their current clients for a referral? A few hands went up. When she asked how many had never asked their current clients for a referral, most hands were raised.

That story reveals the pot of gold available to every organization in its existing customer base. You have the untapped advantage of trust-based relationships with customers who would most likely be happy to tell others about their experience with you. This is why asking for referrals is one of the key elements of our Selling with LinkedIn training program.

Who better to introduce you to future ideal customers than those who are already benefiting from and enjoying your services? Listen as Joanne peels back the layers to help you overcome the fear of asking for referrals and increase your ability to secure qualified leads and close more deals through referral selling.

Do you want to know the best steps for sales prospecting so you can get higher quality sales leads in 2021? Check out our definitive prospecting guide for sales management to grow pipeline!

Did you know the biggest missed opportunity for #referrals is current clients? Join @M_3Jr, CEO of Vengreso and guest Joanne Black (@ReferralSales), on #SellingWithSocial, to stop missing out! #sales @Gong_io #Gong #RevenueSuccessClick To Tweet

This episode is brought to you by, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you achieve revenue success, which means you win more deals, skyrocket rep performance and gain critical market intelligence. Get powerful visibility into your customer conversations with Gong. Head to to get started.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:48] How getting fired pushed Joanne into consulting and referral sales expertise
  • [8:22] A pandemic in sales: the inability to generate referrals
  • [10:34] Why have companies missed the referral selling opportunity?
  • [22:12] What does it take to build a referral culture?
  • [31:55] Big misconceptions about referral selling and how to build the referral sales skill
  • [48:37] Why customers are a pot of gold for future sales relationships

Resources Mentioned

Connect with Mario!

Subscribe to Selling With Social

Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Google Podcasts

Click to Tweets:

#Referrals are the fastest driver of #sales revenue. Discover how you can get more referrals on this episode of #SellingWithSocial with Vengreso CEO, @M_3Jr and guest Joanne Black (@ReferralSales). @Gong_io #Gong #RevenueSuccessClick To Tweet
Discover the best process for generating sales #referrals. Listen in on this conversation with @M_3Jr, CEO of Vengreso and guest Joanne Black (@ReferralSales) on #SellingWithSocial. #SocialSelling @Gong_io #Gong #RevenueSuccessClick To Tweet


10 thoughts on “15 LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tips to Get Found This 2023”

  1. My LinkedIn account was ranking on the first page for best mommys blog keyword quite a few years back and I didn’t have any idea. While working, I stumbled upon the Analytic section of LinkedIn and saw that most of the visitors are coming from search engine later on I realized that in my profile I’ve used “Mommy’s blog” word a lot of time and that is the reason why it was ranking well on SERP. This is how I came to know about SEO and I was also amazed by the fact that how easy it was to rank for competitive keywords back then. Anyways loved your article and please share more tips on SEO.

  2. There is a lot of value in this article, especially for those looking to improve their visibility on LinkedIn. My favorite of the fifteen tips shared in this article is number nine. I’ve observed that people with custom profile links, seem to get more attention than those who haven’t customized their LinkedIn profile URL. Interesting article, thank you for taking the time to put it together.

  3. I agree with the recommendations, they are a very important part of our strategy on LinkedIn, it can give confidence to potential customers (or leaders when someone is looking for a job).

  4. People shouldn’t underestimate keywords on their LinkedIn profile! This helped potential buyers to find me on LinkedIn more easily when they searched for certain products and/or services. Thanks Viveka!

  5. Thank you for another great blog post. For the alt text and/or naming images, do you mean two to three different keyword phrases as a maximum, like this?

    B2B cybersecurity content marketing writer , technical writing cybersecurity content , cybersecurity technical writer , David Geer

    Or can you add more keyword phrases than this?

  6. All the information is very helpful which can help us to increase our Profile ranking on LinkedIn. Another big interesting article, this blog is very useful for the Optimization of my LinkedIn profile.
    I also get much knowledge from this blog.
    thank you keep sharing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.