[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”615″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” css_animation=”top-to-bottom”][vc_column_text]Want to learn how to prospect like a pro? Then read why referrals are so important!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- if you are still using cold-calling as your primary source of lead generation or prospecting, then you’re a dinosaur that needs to get with the times. No one likes telemarketers, and no matter how great your product or service is, no one wants to hear about it over the phone whilst they’re busy!
If you’re one of the dinosaur’s that I was referring to above, then be honest with me for a moment: how many cold calls do you need to make in a month to hit your targets? Have you even done the math? I recently met with a guy who had to make up to 200 calls a day in order to secure two new prospects. That boggled my mind! When time is money, why would you waste it by making unnecessary phone calls?
Referrals are one of my all time favourite ways of prospecting. It’s a method that I’ve used for years. A referral is the name and contact details of a prospective client given to you by a current client, prospect, or someone that you do business with. Referrals are very powerful. If I was to call up a referral who knew that I was going to be calling them, then that’s a great opportunity.
Referrals come in many different forms so let’s go through all of them to find the one that will work best for you.
The weakest type of referral is when a current client gives you the contact details of a prospect and you have to call that person to introduce yourself. You would start this call by saying: “Hi Mr Smith. I was given your phone number by Mr Jones, who told me that you might benefit from what we do.”
A better referral would be someone’s name and number from one of your existing clients, but what differs here is that your existing client would have set up the introduction for you already. An example would be your client sending an email to the referral telling them that they should expect a call from you. You would then contact that person and say: “Hi Mr Smith. I got your contact details from my friend, Mr Jones. He said that he sent you an email. Did you receive it?”
Taking this a step further would be when your current client sends an email to another prospect and that prospect has responded to them. You would then call up the prospect and say: “Hi Mr Smith. My client Mr Jones sent you an email about me and I hear that you were keen to learn more?” This sets the tone for a more positive interaction.
The next scenario would be if all of the above took place but that the prospect replies to their contact stating that they’re really interested in the meeting because they need your product or service.
The best scenario of all would be when you have the contact details of the referral but they get in touch with you. An example would be if they called you up and said: “Hi Spencer. A friend of mine gave me your contact details because they told me what a great job you’re doing for them and I’d like to meet with you to see what you can do for me.”
If you were to get three to five referrals from everyone who you met, you would break every sales record within your company.
It always baffles me when people say that they’re unsure of how to ask for referrals, or that they “feel cheeky” asking for names and numbers of other people who may be interested in their product or service. This is beyond ridiculous. If you’ve done a good job with a prospect or client, then surely the least that they can do is give you a few introductions?
This is always how I conduct business. At the start of the meeting with a prospect I say, “Mr Jones, at the end of this meeting, if you’re 100% happy with my service and I answer all of your questions to your complete satisfaction, can I have your word that you’ll give me the details of five of your contacts who would also benefit from meeting with me?”
If you’re uncomfortable with asking for referrals, then perhaps you shouldn’t be in sales. This is a part of your job, and if you’re doing your job well then you’ve earned those referrals fair and square!
Top tips: Advice on referrals
1. Give your prospect a referral first: If you’re already in the sales industry, you’re bound to know a lot of people. If you have a connection that might be able to help one of your prospects or clients, then put them in touch. By doing this you’ve more than earned the right to ask for a referral yourself.
2. Have your clients reach out to their contact on your behalf: Once your client agrees to give you a referral, ask them to send their contact an email that introduces you. This is so much better than you calling this person cold.