My ongoing monthly prospecting teleconferences have been very well attended to date. At the writing of this column in mid-March we are about to conduct our third teleconference, this one on the topic of social media — Facebook, Twitter, blogs, e-mail, etc. Our discussion is with Jane Bruce, a social media expert for the Gannett Company.
By the time this column is published, that event will have passed, but the next one will carry the theme one step further: “Does e-mail drip marketing work, and how should it be done effectively?”
One of our previous teleconference guests was Joanne Black, who wrote the book “No More Cold Calling.” Her topic was referrals. She is the foremost authority on referrals in America. It was a very interesting and informative session.
I urge you to get in on these free monthly teleconferences. They are unaffiliated with any other wholesale or product marketing organization. We want the information to be unbiased and non-promotional, so that you can get the purest information on prospecting available.
To summarize Joanne’s comments on referrals, she emphasized the fact that any referral that is not a personal, live introduction is a cold call. Even if you have a referrer’s name to drop, that only allows you to mention his or her name. It doesn’t raise your credibility with the referral. The prospect hasn’t been told anything good about you, and you weren’t recommended yet. Therefore, you only have a name and telephone number. The referrer must introduce you personally, either by phone or in person, for this to be a functional referral. Without a personal introduction or endorsement, you might as well open the telephone book and start dialing.
Of course, it’s important to know how to get referrers to refer. That’s what Joanne’s book will teach you. Also, her website, www.nomorecoldcalling.com, has a webinar series that goes into great detail and can help you become a referral machine.
I have found that good referrals are almost a sure thing. When you have a client who is so satisfied with your service that he introduces his friends, that means you have a great practice and you are a pleasure to do business with.
Joanne also emphasized that you must not be shy about asking for a referral. You are now well acquainted. The client knows you and your products/services. If you have done a good job, the referral should be expected. This is a business matter. It is important to your business to get referrals, but you must ask with purpose and boldness. Remember that you are asking for an introduction either face to face or by conference call. If your client’s friend were to walk into the room while you are there, your client wouldn’t hesitate to introduce you, so don’t be shy about formally setting that up.
Let me add that the service we provide has a great deal to do with our willingness to ask for referrals. If we have very little value added to a product sale, then we won’t feel comfortable asking for referrals because we haven’t delivered extraordinary service. The more our clients feel that we have delivered an amazing service, the more willing they will be to refer. You will also be bolder in asking. If I know I have delivered more than my competition would or could, I feel very good about asking for a referral.
Let’s get those referrals working for you. Dial into the next teleconference, which is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24. They are brought to you by Life Insurance Selling and my firm, Present Your Practice.com.