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Advisors: How to Embrace the Value of Your Referral Network

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Question: How do you get the (impossible) meeting with the much-sought-after potential new client?

Answer: Work through your mutually respected third party to secure an introduction. Also known as networking!

Networking is the single most effective means of reaching the greatest number of qualified individuals within the shortest amount of time while providing you the best opportunity to write the most business. As an advisor, a trusted referral that rolls you right into the inbox of a prospect is the single most valuable part of your growth strategy.

Although central to your mission, thus far, your connector merely enables passage. Your journey, and the real work, now begins to portray yourself as “meeting-worthy” and actually get the much-coveted face-to-face or virtual meeting.

Work the Connection

Once you have identified the “mutually respected third party,” work your connection.

Ask your networking connector if you may use their name if they didn’t directly make the introduction.

Ask honestly if they are willing to speak well on your behalf, and never assume that because you know them or happen to have met their acquaintance that they will speak well of you.

Ask the connector if you may keep them apprised of your progress. If so, copy your connector in initial correspondence, referencing their name in the body of your email/letter.

Related: How to Command a Boardroom Meeting

Related: The Difference Between Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Business Meetings

Initial Telephone Conversations

The way you conduct yourself on an initial call is critical.

It matters not who you know or how you got through to Ms. X now, because unless you project well on the telephone you will not advance.

Be thoroughly prepared to confidently articulate who you are, the nature of your call and let them know up front “what’s in it for them.”

Before the call, research your target as best you can.

Customize your “tagline” and practice in advance to confidently articulate your approach and offerings.

Ask pre-planned probing questions specific to their needs. Remember, the number one rule in sales: Identify the client need and fulfill that need!

Listen attentively and take notes to skillfully lead your closing recap back to that which they originally shared relative to their needs.

Use their name often in conversation.

Record specific and personal notes and use this information in subsequent communication. Specific hobbies? Shared history? Similar likes? These are the stepping stones to developing a relationship.

In Conclusion

While these may simply be the initial steps in developing a new client introduction and relationship, they are also the most critical steps in generating significant and positive growth for your practice.

Once you have the client in your office for an initial meeting, your natural charms, your internal environment, your presentation and your capable staff will help to seal the deal if all your ducks are in a row.

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