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recommended I buy from Hank and you hadn’t even done so. What’s up with that?” Steve said he had several bikes from his professional biking days. But he had moved from the northeastern United States to California with the intent to swim-coach triathletes. He figured that if he were to assemble the “best in the business” for each element of needs that a triathlete has, he would likely hold on to his students longer as they wouldn’t want to lose access to such a value-added resource to their triathlon success. Additionally, Steve believed that because of this network, his likelihood of additional referrals would increase as well. Take that in. Steve certainly is one heckuva swim coach, but I’d say he also is a solid sales person/entrepreneur. My philosophy on sales is to help my prospects/customers with their needs/opportunities/problems in the best way that I can, “even if it means not me.” People truly don’t want to be sold, but if we ask enough questions and discover as much as we can about our prospects/ customers, then we can not only go to work at helping them with our products/services where appropriate but also bring them additional resources. This further increases the trust, and selling is the transfer of trust. The first takeaway here, and it’s not the main takeaway, is to ask are you working to be viewed by your public in a similar fashion as Steve? What network of resources have you compiled and developed a relationship with that could add value to your prospects/ customers? Create that network and you will clearly stand apart positively from your competitors. Now, back to that lunch with Steve. So, I high five Steve and “forgave” him for not buying a bike from Hank. I then asked if he had any idea how many of his swim students he referred to Hank the bike shop owner. So, Steve gives me a number and I write it down. I then asked what percent did he believe bought a bike from Hank. His guess was 50 percent; I think it was probably higher but used 50 percent. Then, I asked what did he guess was the average price of a bike purchased, and he gave me a number which I used. When I did the math, I discovered that over a seven-year period, Steve the swim coach had sent more than a million dollars in sales to Hank but had never even bought a bike from Hank! So, the key question for you to dig deep on is, “Who are the Swim Coaches in your business?” You see, sometimes the very best customers in your business just might never buy or use your services but could send you a lifetime of business! Discover those, build relationships there, and you will be working with fewer people and writing more business. And the bonus is, often they are not being courted by your competitors because they don’t need your product/service! Think about this. All too often, the bike shop owner is trying to find “me,” the guy in need of a bike. At 58 years old and not riding a bike since I was a teenager, how hard would it be for Hank to have found me? Vice versa, buried deep in an industrial park, without Steve’s referral, how hard would it have been for me to find Hank the bike shop owner? Here are a few other examples. Over the years, I built several residential mortgage companies. On first blush, it would seem the desired customer is either a homeowner or homebuyer. However, the smart salesperson in that business will go beyond that “obvious” route. The smart sales professional will look at developing relationships with Realtors. They are always in the business and can refer those homebuyers to mortgage providers. Going deeper, if the professional salesperson digs deeper and builds relationships with the top Realtors, they could find themselves in that prized position in which Hank found himself. What if Hank built a dozen strong, trusted relationships with top Swim Coaches? What if a loan sales professional cultivated strong, trusted relationships with a dozen top Realtors? I’ve known of top performing sales professionals that have earned seven figure incomes with the lion’s share of their business coming in this way. In fact, in that business, you could assemble such referral sources, yet none of them may ever do a loan personally with you since they don’t plan on moving! Again, ask the question: “Who are the Swim Coaches in my business?” When doing such an exercise, be sure to repeatedly ask this question: “Who else? Who else? Who else?” I recently conducted a sales training day with a repeat client of mine with 100 salespeople. This is a client that is experiencing tremendous growth. We broke the room down into seven teams and had a 30-minute contest during which each team had to identify as many “Swim Coaches” in their business as possible and present them to the room. After hearing each group report in, we had identified more than 100 potential “Swim Coaches.” We recognized that not all of them would have equal value, so a subsequent activity would be a prioritization of the lists and a strategy as to how to approach and develop those key referral resources. Right before we adjourned and went on to the next exercise, I mentioned there were probably more that could be discovered if they went deeper than thirty minutes. To prove my point, I then shared a few that no one had previously mentioned. Remember, brainstorm the “Who else? Who else? Who else?” Now, GET HUNTING! JACK DALY is an experienced and world-recognized sales speaker and sales training expert who inspires audiences to take action in the areas of sales, sales management, and corporate culture. He brings 30 plus years of field-proven experience, from a starting base of CPA- firm Arthur Andersen to a Captain in the US Army to the CEO of several national companies. Jack is a proven CEO/Entrepreneur, having built six companies into national firms, two of which he subsequently sold to the Wall Street firms of Salomon Brothers and First Boston. His professional sales-trainer know-how has turned him into an accomplished sales coaching authority and author of books including Hyper Sales Growth, The Sales Playbook for Hyper Sales Growth, and Paper Napkin Wisdom, all Amazon #1 Best Sellers. 7