It’s probably very common for someone to tell you, “Hey, you should give this guy a call. He really needs your help.” And if you’re not careful, you can waste a lot of time and energy in situations like that!
Let’s look at how you can best deal with referrals and avoid wasting time and energy.
The referral source
First off, be suspicious! You need to have a good foundation of why your referral source wants you to call the referral before you make the call.
Dig deep with questions. That may take five, ten, or even fifteen questions to clarify things. Why do they think you should call that person? Do they know the person personally? Have they talked to the person about your services or products?
Find out what the expectations of your referral source are. From their standpoint, why do they want you to make the call?
If you decide to move forward and call the person they referred, don’t make any assumptions. Remember, their expectations are likely different than the expectations of the person who made the referral.
Ask something like, “Hey, Bob said I should give you a call. What in the world were you hoping I could help with?”
Again, dig deep. By not making assumptions and asking questions instead, you’re having a completely different conversation.
Here are a couple techniques you can use both with the referral source and the person referred.
Chinese menu option: Often, prospects don’t really know what a solution might look like. Give them a couple options to choose from, and they can start to see what the future might look like.
Magic wand option: Other times, prospects have an ideal outcome in mind, but don’t share it because they don’t think it’s possible. Say something like, “Let’s pretend you had a magic wand. If you waved it, what would your ideal outcome be?”
Start helping both your referral source and the person referred to paint a picture of what you can help them with and how.