The Endless Referral System: cultivating new prospects and referrals (pt.2)


In part one of this series, I mentioned that we should always seek and build more relationships with potential prospects in order to increase our business. And when we do, we should never seek in desperation.

We live an increasingly connected world, so there’s always a chance in finding that one special prospect who would be willing to help out.

When you meet potential prospects, briefly introduce yourself. Ask them “feel good” questions such as, “How did you get started in your business/field?” or “What do you enjoy most about your job?” Questions such as these bring value to his or her life and give them the opportunity to shine. You want “F.O.R.M.” questions that revolve around family, occupation, recreation and message in order to seal the deal with this prospect. But do not be pushy about it and always give them an “out” by saying, for example, “If you can’t do it, I understand.” As Bob puts it, giving them an out is “a way of letting a person feel comfortable with you and the situation by providing them an ‘emotional escape route’”, which removes any pressure they may feel whether from you or themselves. You have limitless opportunities out there. One less prospect will not hurt.

When you have connected with this prospect, send them a nice letter on a notecard (see Bob’s examples at that link, as well as ours below this paragraph) and perhaps, a small gift such as a scratch pad, pen and/or a information booklet on a business topic. Alternatively, you could include an article they might be interested in or a topic related to your conversation.  Doing this will absolutely make them feel valued. Since you have just built this relationship, be patient. Contact them when you are ready, not desperate, to ask for a referral. Lastly, don’t forget to include your new contact on your newsletter database. This increases familiarly with you and your organization and is yet another positive “touch” in the relationship. Want to receive our newsletter, Manufacturing Matters? Click here.

Do you have some favorite networking tips? Share your thoughts and insights in the comment box below!

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