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Communicating comfortably: How to talk to referrals

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According to research at Harvard and Stanford universities, the No. 1 skill for success in the 21st century is the ability to talk to other people. If prospects don’t feel comfortable with us, and don’t think we’re sincere, they won’t care what impressive facts and technology we use to wow them – which is why referrals are so powerful. You have a conversation starter – your mutual associate. And you bypass those awkward first steps where you explain who you are and what you do. How can you make this interaction even more natural? Follow these steps:

  • Smile. It seems simple, but studies have shown that a smile can be highly influential. Why not let your pearly whites pull a little weight?
  • Ask insightful questions. The other half of this step should also be a non-issue: listen carefully to the responses. Your pitch will land on deaf ears if they feel you’re only interested in hearing yourself talk.
  • Customize your pitch. Rather than wasting time discussing all the aspects and accolades of your business, stick to the key points pertinent to this particular customer.

Do you have ideas to share with other advisors? E-mail them to us at [email protected].

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