When salespeople receive a referral, their close rate exceeds 50 percent (clients tell me typically 70 percent or higher). Leads from other, less-direct sources have a 1- to 3-percent close rate.
The personal approach will lead you to success. The definition of a referral is a personal introduction. The introduction can be by phone, email or in person. If you just get a name, you are making a cold call. Yes, a cold call. You interrupt the person, they don’t expect your call, and they might not even believe that the person you mentioned actually referred you.
I view nearly everyone as a part of my referral network. And the people who know the people I want to meet become my referral sources. These referral sources are the (really cool) people who offer to introduce me.
Your referral source (your mutual connection) must reach out to your desired contact first and verify that it’s OK for you to contact them. Then, an email introduction makes sense. Too many salespeople ask for referrals through technological avenues alone–leaving your referral source with very little information about you. Plus, you miss the opportunity to reach out and reconnect.
With a little “instruction” you can empower your referral source to introduce you. Teach that person how to introduce you. (For example, how do you want “what you do” to be described?) Teach referral sources about your ideal client, and provide them with the answers to these critical questions:
1. What business issues do you solve?