OK. You’ve started lining up your raving fans—people who know, like, understand and trust you. You’ve begun meeting with them, but are concerned that your relationships are starting to feel the chill. Consider these two broad mindsets when meeting with your raving fans and the prospects they bring you.
Sales Mindset (Referral Mindset concepts in parentheses):
- People who may need to be "sold to" (Raving fans find people who are ready to be buy. Need established by your raving fans who can ask more and better questions than you can based on their relationship)
- Convinced of your competency (Prospects found by your raving fans are predisposed to be believe in you by their business/personal associate. They already trust Jane and come to you believing that you'll be trustworthy as well)
- The sales rep is responsible for moving the prospect through the sales prospect (Your raving fan moves the prospect through the sales funnel)
- Lower level of repeat business (Raving fans generate more business with more of a likelihood to continue and expand. They are much more comfortable with the sales process and feel more confident in doing business with you).
- Longer sales cycles (The work of your raving fans produces sales more quickly).
- Demonstrations are a must (Your raving fans have already demonstrated your competence, referring prospects—people they know—to your website or your sales literature. They need little more convincing. Instead, be sure that you’ve asked them for their understanding of your product or service and see if they need any more information—it my not be the information you think).
- Now that you’ve lined out these two broad ways of thinking, consider this: both are necessary for prospecting using your raving fans. No matter how hot the prospect they bring you, you will still need to be skilled in the nuances of closing the sale. The fish can still jump off the hook.
The challenge is keeping your referral network, well, working! One of the chief ways you can cabbage-up your network is by selling to them. Given the amount of information you’ll be giving them so they can better support you, they’ll know if they need to have a conversation with you about a paid client arrangement. Trust me on this one: Don’t push.
Another challenge is in the lack of reciprocity that can occur between business associates. The feeling can be “if she wants me to help her, she’d better ask.” Interesting sentiment, however, she’ll be more likely to tag you as the stingy-gus you are and never help you again. Instead, ask her “Where are you challenged? And how can I help you win here?” Spend real time focused on her business and be willing to champion her business.
Pay it forward, my friend.
Endless Referrals, Third Edition, Bob Burg
Get More Referrals Now!, Bill Cates
76 Ways to Build a Straight Referral Business, ASAP!, Lorna Riley