You got it. The most coveted prize in selling besides a sale. A referral. How do you approach this person? How do you maximize the selling power of this referral? Here are eight rules to ensure your success.
Rule one Go slow. Timing is everything. Don’t appear to be too anxious to get the sale (money). Proper set up (giving some value first) will breed a long term relationship (more money) instead of just a sale.
Rule two Arrange a three way meeting. Setting the stage for the first meeting/communication can be make it or break it. All three people (you, the referral, and the person who referred them) together sets a perfect stage. Here are the preferred methods of a first meeting with a referral and customer in order of preference (and effectiveness).
**Arranging a meal together (breakfast and lunch are more business, dinner is more openended and casual).
**Arranging to meet at a networking event.
**Arranging to meet at a social event (theater, ball game).
**Getting a personal (in person) introduction.
If those methods are not possible or practical, try these:
**Getting a phone call to the referral from your customer telling of your impending call.
88Getting a letter of introduction.
NITE WELL: These methods provide the best chance for success. A third party to sing your praise in front of the referral is a HUGE lever to the sale. One third party endorsement is more powerful than one hundred presentations.
Rule three 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, some confidence, and (rule four) arrange a second, private meeting where you can get down to business.
Rule five 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.
Rule seven Write your customer a note of thanks. Include a gift if the sale will be of some significance (a quality ad specialty something with your logo printed on it, or two tickets to a ball game). Your thanks and gift will encourage the customer to get you another referral.
Rule eight OverDeliver! 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 them all, it is a breeding ground for your reputation.
What kind of deliveryreputation have you got?
Say instead, “Hi (hey), my name is Jeffrey, my company is Buy Gitomer and you don’t know me from a sack of potatoes. I’ve been doing business with (name of customer) for some time now, and she thought I might be able to help you in the same way I’ve helped her. I just wanted to introduce myself and get your address to send you some information I think you’ll find to be of interest.”
Now say something CREATIVE to establish personal rapport from the information you were given by your customer. Try to get the referral to laugh. Then say, “I’ll call you back in a few days, and maybe we can talk over lunch.” “Thanks for your time.”
Don’t be too windy. You’re not going to make the sale on the phone. Say just enough to create interest and arrange an inperson meeting.
The referral is the easiest prospect in the world to sell. Ask any “professional” who hates selling (accountants, architects, lawyers) they’ll and tell you that 100% of their new business comes from referrals. That’s because they’re not capable of making sales calls and rely on the “fallinyourlap” method of selling.
Take a lesson form these professionals the referral is the easiesttosell most powerful sales lead on the planet. The real secret is how do you get them? Simple twoword answer… earn them.
FREE GitBit… Want the blueprint for developing referral alliances? The magic (hard work) formula for developing hundreds of referrals. Go to www.gitomer.com register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word REFERRAL in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org