You CAN ask new clients for introductions IF the conditions are just right.
First – Engagement must be created.
Second – Value has to be delivered and recognized.
Third – They must have the right personality.
Does your client have to experience results before you can ask them for introductions?
I would say, “Results are in the eye of the beholder.” Have you ever had someone thank you for setting up an appointment? Or thank you for bringing them through a great process that they found educational and thought provoking – even valuable?
Satisfied clients are darned loyal, but only about 20% provide introductions. 98% of engaged clients provide introductions. So, you want to create engagement early and continuously to become more and more referable.
Your prospects and clients need to feel engagement in two areas:
These two components of engagement need to be present throughout your client relationships if you wish to remain super referable.
You won’t become referable unless and until value has been delivered and recognized by your prospect or client. The fact that you have delivered value won’t be enough. It needs to be recognized by the receiver of that value.
There are two primary ways to know if your value has been recognized:
If you want to be proactive early in a newer relationship, the personality of the client should be considered. Prospects and clients who are open in their communication style, are going to be much more open to a request for introductions. They typically let you into their life more quickly than some, so they are usually willing to let you into the lives of others.
If they are guarded in their communication style (like my father the statistician), then you should probably wait a little longer in the relationship. Promote introductions in the first several meetings and watch how they react.
I can’t tell you how many referrals and strong introductions I’ve received at the “point of decision.” You can too!
Here’s a sample conversation to adopt and adapt:
“I applaud you for your decision. It’s an important one and I believe you’ll continue to find great value as we move forward. I know you were considering a couple of other firms. What tipped the scales for you? What has you moving forward with us (me)?”
After the value discussion, you can then say… “I was thinking of your best friend Jack. How do you feel about introducing me to him? Do you think he should at least know about this opportunity?”
Look! There’s no right answer to this question. Here’s what I know for sure… If you lead with a value-centered process, have the client confirm the value you’ve delivered, and then ask for a very specific introduction, you’ll produce consistent results.
What questions do you have about this model? I want to hear from you! Really! Let’s start a conversation and “share the wealth” of ideas. Please leave a comment or question below.
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