Ep. 58: Interview with Bill Good: The Art of Gaining Referrals


In this episode of Stay Paid, Josh and Luke chat with Bill Good, chairman of Bill Good Marketing. Good is a marketing entrepreneur, the author of two books, and a prospecting expert who shares his secrets on how to succeed in the business.

Key Points

  • How Bill helped train people to approach sales differently
  • The three strategies you need to gain referrals
  • The mistake most sales professionals are making

Introduce yourself and tell us about your backstory.

I quit a job on a Thursday and needed a job by Monday. I took an inside sales job and shadowed the best guy there for two days, writing down everything he said. I got to be the number two guy in the company, and eventually talked my way into a sales manager job. As I started analyzing the low earners, I found that those were the ones who were just talking and talking and trying to overcome all these objections. I starting telling them that after the third time of trying to get a sale, they had to hang up and go on to the next.

My next objection was that they could only handle two objections and then brought it down to one—calls and sales continued to go up. I wanted people to stop trying to handle objections. What you’re looking for as a prospector is someone who’s interested in your product or service and who can also afford it. Six months later I left and a few months after that I gave a seminar on telephone prospecting. I came up with a marketing system concept—just at the dawn of the computer age—and I tested my first idea with a financial advisor in Salt Lake City. From there Bill Good Marketing was born.

Walk us through your principle on referrals.

Let’s start out with my definition of referral: a name volunteered by a client of someone needing help. The three strategies that we use are as follows:

  1. Top of mind awareness: you need to create a sense of awareness in your prospects. You should stay in touch with people you’ve done business with. Send them a physical letter once a month—a birthday card, a congratulations notice, and for various life events. The name that pops out first will get that referral.
  2. Create word of mouth with your clients: give your clients something to do. Host events and get the community involved. The engaged clients provide referrals. Target out people who are socially well-connected. Start people out by doing birthday lunches. Don’t talk about what you do unless you’re asked. You can record the things people are interested in in your CRM.
  3. Watch the webinar to find out the crown jewel of these referral suggestions. But to tease this third point: stay at it! Half of success is just showing up. Learn from people who did it before you.

What is the biggest mistake you see people making who run their own business?

My whole sales technique is totally built around questions. Sales isn’t all talking.

Where can you connect with Bill?

Website – billgoodmarketing.com

Action Items:

Following the podcast, our goal is to provide you with as many actionable tips as possible. For this episode, they include…

  • Call the people closest to you and plug your industry in this exercise: ask who they think of when you say “smartphone,” “fast food restaurant,” etc. It’s a fun test to see what companies are top of mind for them.
  • Sales is about understanding people’s pain points and their desires. Listen more than you talk.

As always, take action on these tips!

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