What if you could get a meeting with a good prospect from cold in just one call? Cold calling is an often brutal way of generating leads. It does work, but you’re still interrupting somebody’s day to sell them something they may not even want. They say it takes 10-12 touches to reach a prospect. And even then, they may not say yes to meeting up. Who has that kind of time?
if you accept that it’s probably going to take a face to face meeting with a good prospect to sell yourself and your services, then the question becomes how can you get a meeting in the quickest tie and with the least effort? If you’ve got a list of targets, your aim should be to secure a ‘one call meeting’. The only way to do that is to go in via referral.
There are many different levels or ‘shades’ of a referral, from say a super warm three-way introduction lunch to a throwaway lead of somebody who might be looking for what you do. But the easiest is a phone call that says something like:
- Jim Jones was telling me about you – he rates you highly, and suggested we meet up…
- I was telling Jim Jones about our [service/USP/track record] and he said I should get to know you…
- We’ve not spoken before but Jim Jones knows us both and recommended we have a coffee and a chat…
This doesn’t require much effort on the part of your referral source – just confirmation that there’s a potential fit and permission to use their name on the call. To get the right introductions, you can either:
- Show your referral source a list of targets and ask who they know that they could perhaps introduce you to or
- Tell your referral source you’re looking for one or teo more clients and ask for a few people they think you should talk to.
Old school suggests you have this referral conversation face to face, or at worst on the phone. That way it’s more personal, you can build a better relationship with your source and you get more information about who they know. You might also get juicy intel on particular triggers, personality traits or habits of your potential referrals. You should also ask how you can help them in return.
Going in with a name who endorses you gives you legitimacy for the call. It also makes the prospect think twice about turning you down, since somebody they know and trust sees something here that they might not.
Of course, while you might get the yes, you must remember that the prospect still doesn’t really know who you are. So, you might get…
- Sure, but what’s this about?
- Okay, but I still don’t really know you…
- So why did Jim think it would be good for us to meet?
That means you’ve got to be ready with some answers here. But you’ve got visibility (you’re now on their radar), you’ve got credibility (you’ve been endorsed by a trusted contact) and you’ve got possibility (you’re now in the door with the opportunity of a one call meeting). All because you did some homework first and aimed for a referral intro rather than a completely cold call. Well done you!
***BONUS TIP ***
Check out the LinkedIn profile of some of your top referral sources and see who they know. LinkedIn is a black book of your contact’s connections. Some digging into their network should throw up a few names you’d like to get a meeting with. So, your conversation becomes…
Jim, you’re so well connected on LinkedIn. I notice you know X and Y. I’d love to meet up with them to talk about ABC. How would you feel if I mentioned your name?
Happy hunting, and if you’d like o chat about how we can help you bring down a few big ones, let’s talk.