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5 Key Ingredients That Lead to a Better Referral Prospect Call

by Bill Cates

Let’s set the scene.

  1. You’ve been introduced through email to a new, in-segment, prospect by a great client.
  1. The prospect responded to your email request for a short (15-minute) call to get the conversation started – and the call is scheduled.

What’s next? How do you determine what to discuss on this first call?

The biggest mistake I see advisors making when speaking to their new referral prospect for the first time is that they don’t customize the call based on what they’ve learned from the referral source, as well as other sources of information.

The borrowed trust of the introduction will only carry you so far. It will help you get the attention of the prospect and possibly be enough to get the first call scheduled. But if you don’t show up as relevant, with a compelling reason to move forward, that borrowed trust goes to waste.

One of your goals for your first call is to see how you can bring some tangible value to your prospect on that call. What can you teach them? What thought provoking question can you ask? Or to what resource can you introduce them?

Your 5 Key Ingredients that Lead to a Better Referral Prospect Call

  1. What does the referral source see as valuable about your work with them?

    In our V.I.P.S. Method for Asking for Introductions™, the V stands for Value Discussion. Before you ask for introductions, you want to check in with your client to see what they found valuable about your meeting, your process, and/or the overall relationship.

    Then, when learning about your new prospect, see if they think their friend/colleague/family member would appreciate the same things.

    For more on our V.I.P.S. Method, CLICK HERE.

  2. What’s going on in the life of the prospect that’s most important to them right now? What’s on the forefront of their life’s radar?

    Since money intersects all aspects of one’s life, if you can make the introduction and/or your follow up related to that, you will certainly be seen as more relevant and probably be able to bring a more compelling reason to why the should speak with you.

    Your referral source can help make that connection in their introduction, you can make that connection in your follow-up email, or you can bring it up in your first phone call.

  3. What did the referral source say to the prospect?

    Sometimes your referral source wants to have a conversation with the prospect before you make any sort of contact. If that’s the case, it’s always a good idea to work through that conversation with your source. What do they think they need to say to the prospect to pique their interest? How will the prospect likely react?

    Then your referral source can report back to you so you will be aware of that conversation – and can adjust your approach accordingly.

  4. Does the prospect fit well within your target market and areas of expertise?

    I’m a huge believer in working well-defined target markets – such as employees in a specific company, business owners in an industry, or faculty and administrators at universities – to name a few.

    The more targeted you are, the more relevant and compelling you can be with in-segment prospects. You can display empathy (appreciation) for their situation through the questions you ask and the topics you discuss.

  5. How can your Cold Research reveal helpful information?

    The concepts discussed above fall into the category of Warm Research. You’re learning things that only someone who knows the prospect can impart to you.

    And while warm research is extremely valuable, it’s not the only source of helpful information. Look up the prospect’s LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, and bio on their website. Dig into those pages a bit. What can you learn that might help you bring more empathy and value to your prospect?

If you are handling your referrals and introductions properly, a generic script for your first call with your prospect may hurt you more than help you.

I’d love to learn what’s working for you in this area or what questions you have. Please leave a comment or asking a question below.


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