Many of us receive referrals for business opportunities from our contacts and customers. For most of us, this is our preferred method of winning new customers and ideally would be the only way to do business.
The reason we favor referrals is simply that a third party has already opened a door for you, making your chances of success significantly higher. This referral and its success are based on trust. Your success in winning business as a result of an appointment just depends on the quality of the introduction. You are also benefiting from the trust your prospect has in your referral source.
By doing your homework, you can replicate this trusting relationship with stone-cold prospects. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:
- Find out the names of your prospect’s existing customers.
- Find out your prospect’s fiercest competitor.
- Find the name of a local or national figure that is a mutual, well-respected acquaintance of your prospect.
Once you’re armed with this information, ensure your meeting includes the following:
- Start with an open discussion on how you both know or have an interest in the mutual acquaintance.
- During the conversation, mention the businesses you work with that are the same as, or similar to, organisations your prospect works with. If there is no common ground, name-drop your most broadly recognized contact.
- Toward the end of the meeting, you can subtly allude to a further meeting with their competitor.
By following these simple steps, your mutual acquaintance builds rapport with you and starts to develop trust. Your relationship with like-minded businesses will reinforce that trust, and finally, your acknowledgement of their competition provokes the biggest decision catalyst of all – fear of loss.
Give it a try. You will be overwhelmed with the results!