For the complex sale you need enthusiastic referrals to help you build your reputation, differentiate yourself, demonstrate your value proposition, shorten your sales cycle, and drive revenue.
So how do you ask for referrals? I wrote a post called, "Asking for referrals does more than Generate Leads," based on the Harvard Business Review article, “The One Number You Need to Grow” by Frederick F. Reichheld.
During two years of research, Reichheld discovered, that the answer to this basic question, ‘Would you recommend our products/services to a business peer?’, correlated directly to growth rates.
Jim Lenskold and Bill Lee just wrote a practical article on MarketingProfs which builds on Reichhelds’s research and ideas. MarketingProfs: Turning Customers Into Your Sales and Marketing Department