Introductions to prospects, buyers and influencers can not only help your business today, properly nurtured, they can help your business grow in the months and years ahead. Most people, seeking immediate sales success, forget a few of steps in insuring the viability of this valuable business asset.
First, collect all the information you can about the potential target of the introduction. Don’t be shy. Ask your referring colleague a few additional questions about the person they would like to refer to you.
Why is this person a good match for me?
Tell me a little about their personality.
What types of arguments do they find most persuasive?
I use The Introduction Book, by Bill Cates to record and store this information.
By the way, if you’d like to get an introduction book of your own, you can contact Bill or a member of his team at www.referralcoach.com.
Second, be clear about how your friends and potential referral sources are positioning you and your business. What promises can they make on your behalf? Will you consult for a period of time for free? Do you offer an extraordinary guarantee of satisfaction? When they present you as a possible solution to their customer or friend’s problem, what should they say to help distinguish you in the mind of the referral?
Finally, be sensitive to the fact that, regardless of how much creditability you have with your referral source, they are busy. Like all of us, they have lots of competing demands on their time and their “shelf of mind.” From time to time you may need to remind them that you are still there to serve not only their needs, but the needs of those who they might care to refer. These reminders need to be in the format that THEY have elected to receive communications.
Referrals can be a powerful source of long-term business success.