Sunday, March 6, 2011
JAFP | 8:23 PM | Referral Tips |
# 1 - Keep the Referral Prospect in the Loop
One unique quality of a prospect you obtained through a referral is that there is a third party involved in this effort to bring value to this new prospect. Of course, referral sources (Clients and Centers of Influences) vary in their "investment" in you. It's always a good idea to keep these folks in the loop when doing business with the prospect. When you have difficulty making contact with the prospect, these folks can often help you along. If you have trouble piquing the interest of the prospect, sometimes the referral source can come to the rescue.
Obviously, you need to be careful about revealing any proprietary information that you may have discovered about your prospect. Also, you need to be diplomatic about other information. However, keep the referral source as an ally in this process and use them when you can.
# 2 - Keep Good Records
I don't know about you, but whenever I don't keep good records of my conversations with prospects, my efforts to remain in touch are ineffective and seem to fizzle. Relying on my memory just doesn't cut it. How about you?
To "keep the sale alive" we must be in the habit of keeping good records of our conversations. We have to have enough detail so we remember the flow of our conversation. If we can't remember what we said or they said on the last call, we - most likely - won't feel comfortable picking up the phone. It will be awkward. We won't know how to add value. The prospecting process dies.
#3 - Pre-Plan Your Next Step
One solid habit I've been able to establish is the habit of planning my next contact either before I finish the call with the prospect (something we figure out together) or right after the call ends. Sometimes, especially when the prospect is actively interested, but there is a timing issue, you can work with them to determine the next time and reason for the next call.
I like to plan the time and strategy for the next call while that conversation is fresh in my mind. I record my ideas in my call notes and everything comes back to me as I prepare for the next call.
#4 - Have a Solid Reminder System in Place
What system do you use to make sure no prospects fall through the cracks? I hope you have one. And I hope you're not relying on a paper system anymore. Okay, paper systems have worked for thousands of years, but I think you should take advantage of all the efficiencies computers and smartphones offer in this area.
After each call with a new prospect, I plan my next strategy, I figure out the timing. Then I set an alarm on my computer that pops up the reminder at the appropriate time. In this way, I can let go of that prospect - for the time being - knowing that no one will fall through the cracks.