And while seeking out the opinions and perspectives of people like ourselves may lead to a more personal and familiar buying experience, what’s even more amazing is the impact those trusted sources have on conversion rates. B2B sales cycle data from Salesforce demonstrates that, when it comes to lead conversion, the interest that originates from customer and employee referrals converts to deals at rates fifty times higher than email campaigns!9 Furthermore, data from marketing automation giant Marketo indicates that leads originating from referrals convert to opportunities at rates of four times the average, and similar to the next three highest-converting lead sources combined (those being partner, inbound, and marketing-generated).10 My personal experience over the years greatly corroborates these statistics. For example, when I started my own sales practice, Cerebral Selling, I needed to have a logo designed. Around the same time, my friend had recently had a nice logo designed for his business. I asked him who he used, he told me, and I just did the same. No further research or investigation required. A short time later, I wanted to head out of town with my wife for an overnight trip to the beautiful Niagara wine region of Ontario to celebrate our anniversary. I didn’t know where to stay or which restaurant to go to, so instead of sifting through pages of online content and reviews, I asked a friend who runs a vineyard in the region. When he gave me his recommendations, I simply booked the places he told me. No questions asked. Were there better places to stay and eat? Potentially. Were there other creative design shops that could have generated equally if not more spectacular logos? More than likely. Do I care? Absolutely not! I love my logo and had a great anniversary outing, and feel secure in my decisions around both because of the feeling I received by selecting recommendations from people I trust. Both experiences are perfect examples of the prescriptive-led sales cycle we spoke about in chapter 2. This means that when it comes to your selling motion, one of the most unobtrusive, empathetic, and authentic ways to convert prospective buyers is simply to surround them with like-minded customers who love you.
David Priemer (Sell the Way You Buy: A Modern Approach To Sales That Actually Works (Even On You!))