- It's the start of the New Year and time for all of us to be looking for more clients and prospecting more effectively. One of the most effective forms of prospecting I have found over my sales career has been to always ask for referrals, This way I always have a professional introduction and there is credibility from the outset.
The easiest script I have used over the years when asking for referrals is this - 'If we had to swap jobs today, who would be the first three people you would call'
Here are my 10 steps for effective referral prospecting:
Ask for specific referrals to narrow the customer’s focus.
Gather as much information about the referral as possible.
Ask your customer for permission to use his or her name.
Ask your customer for help in obtaining an appointment with the referral.
Contact the referral as soon as possible
Inform your customer about the outcome of the contact.
Build referral alliances (this can be through sources such as clubs, centres of influence, key people in the industry).
Prospect for referrals just like you prospect for sales leads
Rank your referrals as you do your customers:
Seek internal referrals (other departments, locations, divisions, branches and subsidiaries).
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Frank Furness CSP CFP is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in sales and sales management. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 42 countries. His publications and sales CDs have been sold globally. For more information or to sign up for the free ‘Sales Tips & Ideas’ newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone+ 44 (0) 870 240 6505. www.frankfurness.com
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