Here are 7 do’s and don’ts for when you call your new referral prospects (or any prospect, for that matter):
- Don’t say “How are you today?” in your opening statement. This screams “telemarketer!”
- Don’t ask “Are you busy?” Of course they’re busy. When they say “yes” the tension mounts. Open with “I know you’re busy, so I’ll be brief.”
- Use what the referral source likes or admires about your new prospect – if it’s natural and genuine for you to do so. For instance, “George, Mary had a lot of nice things so say about you. Do you want to know what she said?” That should create some curiosity and maybe even get a laugh.
- Put some benefits into your opening. How you do this can help you stand out or look like everyone else. For instance, telephone selling expert Jim Dominski gives this example. Boring: “We work with business owners by providing solutions to their retirement planning needs.” Better: “We work with business owners who are busy and struggle to find the time to do adequate retirement planning and investing.”
Jim’s example is more targeted and from the prospect’s point of view. In fact, the more targeted your opening, usually the better.
- If you are a specialist, present yourself as such. The more specialized you are to this prospect’s situation, the more he/she is likely to want to talk to you. Niche and grow rich!
- Don’t assume anything; ask. Don’t assume you have the solution to their problems. Prescription without diagnosis is mal practice. Tell them you don’t know if you can be a resource for them as you were for their friend, but a quick conversation should reveal that. Then ask them some questions.
- Don’t wing it! Before you ever pick up the phone to call a referral prospect, be prepared. Rehearse what you want to say a couple of times. Be clear on your opening statement. You don’t want to be fumbling around to find your words. Have the words ready. Your prospect wants you to be confident in what you do our they’ll never give you the time of day.
If you like some of the phrases I’ve presented here, use them. If you don’t, find your own words to accomplish the same result.