4 Easy Tips for Getting Referrals

Posted on by Dave Erlandson | No Comments »

One of the most difficult parts of the sales process is getting appointments with prospects. It is many times easier to get the prospect’s attention if you have a solid referral. So how do you get that referral?

  1. Build referrals into the statement of work for every current project. Just add a line that says the customer agrees to provide testimonials and referrals at the end of each successful project. If you don’t have it in the SOW you can still go back to satisfied customers; however the more time that passes after the last work you did for the customer, the harder it will be.
  2. Join organizations that your clients and prospects attend, such as local chapters of professional associations or the chamber of commerce. By becoming active in these organizations, you will meet prospects in an environment conducive to receiving your message. This approach can be very effective, but it takes time.
  3. Find mutual business relationships within your target prospect list. For example, go to your banker and ask for referrals. Your banker wants to see you succeed, so he’ll often be willing to refer you to the bank’s other customers.
  4. Use LinkedIn or other social networking tools. Over half the users of LinkedIn have management titles. You can use LinkedIn to identify prospects and then see what contacts you both have in common. For example, I wanted to reach a VP at Qwest Communications. I knew the person’s name and so I found him on LinkedIn. Then I noticed that we have 3 connections in common. A simple email to one of the 3 connections led to a referral to the VP.

By leveraging existing relationships and mutual relationships you can get referrals to new prospects that will save you time and jump start your sales process. Of course, once you have the referral you still need to build a solid message to get the appointment.

Caslon has developed tools for helping you build your own message. The Caslon tools contain sample scripts and hooks for a number of vertical industries and can easily be modified for referrals. Modifications for email and voice mail scripts are also provided.

For more information about the S3 process visit the Caslon website. The entire collection of S3 selling tools is free to PODi members.

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