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If you would have referrals, you need clients that feel so strongly about you and what you do that they are willing to talk to other people about you. If you would have referenceable clients that you can use as proof of your ability to produce better outcomes, you need clients for whom you have produced real, tangible, measurable, and significant results.

The way to build referrals and referenceable clients is to win dream clients and then to perform for them.

Something Less Than a Dream, Something Less Than a Reference

When you need a reference, who do you ask to provide it? Do you ask the client for whom you are doing acceptable work? Or do you ask the client that recognizes that you are doing head-turning, jaw-dropping, breath-taking, earth-shattering work?

This is the difference between dream clients and simple prospects.

Your company’s churn rate for these clients is probably very, very low. And large or small, these are the clients that appreciate you, that value you the work you do, and who are more than happy to share their experience with others.

Lets Give Them Something to Talk About

Gaining access to referrals means producing the kind of results that are worth talking about. People only talk about one kind of experience: the exceptional. That is true whether the experience is exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. People don’t talk about the perfectly mediocre, simply acceptable, or passable experiences that sit between poor performance and breath taking.

No one says: “Jane, you should call John if you need help in this area. His work is perfectly mediocre and you will find him to be minimally acceptable.”

If you want referrals, you have to do the kind of work on the far end of the range, the remarkable work that people will want to talk about and share with others.

Hence, Dream Clients

Building the ability to ask for and obtain referrals means building a client portfolio of dream clients. Your dream clients are the clients for whom the work you do is meaningful enough that it is worth sharing with others.

Spending time with prospects for which you can produce results that are something less than remarkable means building a business that will not produce referrals and recommendations. There is nothing worth sharing with others.


What do you have to do as a salesperson to create a remarkable experience about which your clients will want to share it other people?

Who are the clients that make up your reference list? How many of them will describe you and your work as something more than acceptable?

Would you describe the clients on your reference list as dream clients?

Which of your clients provides you with references without you requesting them? What do you different for this client?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 9, 2011

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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