I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and New Year’s break, it’s crazy to think we are already one month into 2016.
With that in mind, I wanted to write about one facet of something that many of us have a challenge with. I’m talking about prospecting and more specifically, referrals.
Let’s start the New Year off prospecting strong with these three tips to get the most out of your referral system.
- DON’T OVER-QUALIFY YOUR LEADS
- Many of us make the mistake of thinking too much about if a prospect is right for us, all we should be asking is – Do they potentially have a need for what we offer? If yes then add them to your suspect list.
- The same goes for the person referring, if you are making an introduction for a colleague, don’t look too far into it, they know best if they can potentially help the prospect. It is up to them to discover this through good questioning.
- WARM/COLD/HOT REFERRALS – KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
- Cold referral – A colleague has handed a client/prospect one of your business cards and said ‘give them a call if you need….’
◦ This is akin to a cold call because there is no trust established, all they know about you is what is on your card – save these for C and D prospects
- Warm referral – A colleague has mentioned your name to their client/your prospect.
◦ Again this is not ideal, your name has been mentioned but there is no next step for them, you can’t start the relationship based on this.
- Hot referral – Now this is key, your colleague has introduced you to their client/your prospect and let them know that you will be giving them a call.
◦ These are ideal as the prospect is expecting your call AND you get a buying signal because if they were totally uninterested in what you have to offer they wouldn’t meet with you in the first place.
- BE SPECIFIC
- Once you have established a list of the prospects you would like to work with, share it! Share it with your colleagues, at referral groups or at networking groups. Be specific about who you are targeting, it makes it much easier for people to refer to you.
Many people we meet through our business say they are too busy to prospect, or the phone doesn’t stop ringing.
However, having a strong prospecting and referral system is key. You will be glad you planned ahead and filled up your pipeline for the long winter months.
Oh, and the best way to get a referral? ….To give one.
So let’s start this New Year off the right way, help each other out, and in time it will come back around to you tenfold
Hayden Burgess is a Sales Trainer with Sales Impact Group