The most coveted prize in selling besides a sale is a referral.
Everyone tells you to get referrals. No one tells you what to do next.
How do you approach this person?
How do you maximize the selling power of a referral?
Here are 7.5 rules to ensure your success:
- Approach with care, be prepared, don’t move too quickly. Timing is everything. Don’t appear to be too anxious to get the sale (money). Proper set up will breed a long-term relationship (more money) instead of just a sale.
- Arrange a three way meeting. Setting the stage for the first meeting/communication can make it or break it. All three people together will set the perfect stage. Your customer will sing your praises in front of the referral.
- Get personal information about the referral before you make the first contact. Business information, personal information, recent successes, likes, last vacation, children’s schools, hometown. Having personal information is an advantage. Not having personal information is a fatal mistake.
- You don’t have to sell at the first meeting if your customer is with you. In fact, the less selling you do, the more credible you will appear. You only have to establish rapport, gain confidence, and arrange a second, private meeting where you can get down to business.
- Try to get the prospect to prepare information for your meeting. If you can get the prospect to gather and/or compile information, you have an interested prospect who will be willing to talk and listen.
- Don’t send too much information in the mail. The mail, like the phone, is not where a sale is made. It’s just a sales tool. Send just enough to inform and create interest.
- Write a personal note to the referral within 24-hours. Brief, but positive. Don’t slobber all over the note with thanks, and thanks again. Just tell him or her it was nice to get acquainted and you’re looking forward to the next meeting.
7.5 Deliver! Failure to follow up and deliver as promised makes you and your customer look bad to the prospect. Failure to deliver also eliminates any chance of another referral. This rule is the most important of all. It’s a breeding ground for your reputation. What kind of reputation have you got?