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Sales strategy: Get the referral, get the introduction

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It’s so easy to get a name and run with it, isn’t it? You call the “name,” and you receive a “Who are you?” If you just get a name, your call is cold. Period. It’s pretty routine in our business for someone to say, “Hey, I know him, just give him a call and tell him I told you to call.” Brrr… that call is cold.

When you build referrals into your sales strategy, you ask for the introduction. Without a referral introduction, your call is cold.

The introduction occurs in three ways:

  1. By phone: Ask your referral source to pick up the phone and make the connection for you. Yes, while you’re there, not days later.
  2. In person: If your relationship is with a family or very close friends, it could make sense to coordinate an in-person meeting.
  3. By e-mail: An e-mail is just as effective if your referral source contacts the referral first. Then the e-mail is just a formality and gives each of you relevant contact information.

Your referral source will be glad to introduce you, but you must ask. Therefore, our job as advisors shifts. We become educators. We educate our referral source on what to do. They don’t know how the process works. Once you ask for the introduction, they readily make it. After all, it’s their relationship, so of course they introduce you. Just ask!

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Joanne Black is a professional sales speaker, sales webinar leader, and author of “No More Cold Calling: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust” from Warner Business Books. Visit