Would you rather be set up on a blind date by someone you trust? Or by someone contacting you through an unsolicited message on Facebook? We can all agree that being introduced to someone via someone we know and trust, is a hundred times more appealing than being contacted out of the blue by someone we have zero connections with. That is exactly why seeking out warm referrals for your business can be a game-changer. “Warm referrals” is the idea of contacting your existing network and asking them to reach out to prospects in their network on your behalf. Your contact acts as the middle man–the guy who is really doing everyone a favor. But getting referrals can be an incredibly challenging process.
1. Ask for Them
Obvious, right? But can you remember the last time you took the initiative to ask a client for a referral? How often is your sales team booking appointments with serious potential customers following a positive recommendation of an existing client?
If you find yourself with a referral deficit–that is, lacking in new prospects and only retaining current ones–you probably fall into one (or more) of these categories:
- You forget to ask for your customers to refer you
- You’re fearful of rejection when asking for an introduction
- You don’t know how to ask without sounding unprofessional
Your current clients want you to succeed and, according to legendary author Dale Carnegie, 91% of customers say they are happy to give referrals. So ask them!
At the very worst, they could say no. And if that’s the case, you might have bigger issues than finding new customers–find out why that statistically probable “yes” was a “no” and work on it, so the next time you ask, you’ll get that “yes”.
2. Leverage Your Existing Relationships
Rather than starting with zero connection and trying to “win” over new customers or headhunt a prospective executive with a cold call, leverage the good standing you have with peers within your network.
You can’t read their minds to extract who’s in their network that fits your ideal customer profile, so going back to point #1, you’re going to have to ask them. If you’ve done a good job of cultivating these relationships, your peers will want to help you.
Reaching out to a network of people who know, like, and trust you will guarantee better prospects than any cold call campaign ever could.
Note: You are 4.2 times more likely to get an appointment if a personal connection is involved.
3. Reduce Referral Speed Bumps
If you feel comfortable asking for referrals and are actively networking, what’s stopping you from securing more introductions? Is it the inconvenience of searching your contacts in hopes that someone might have a friend worth contacting?
Maybe it’s that you don’t have time to craft a personal and professional email to your colleagues asking for an introduction, amongst the 1,000 other things on your to-do list?
These are just a few of the key roadblocks that Bubba’s team identified, so they decided to do something about it. They created Outro — a tool that identifies the contacts of your contacts, who fit criteria that you set, and provides a smooth and efficient system of reaching out to those prospects via your known contacts.
Outro takes a highly time-consuming and manual task and automates it using powerful algorithms–not for the sake of turning genuine connection into a mindless exercise, but for the sake of making effective and purposeful connections in a fast-paced world.
When Bubba first started out in business, he made cold calls for a living and found his success rate for booking appointments was just 1 in 100.
While cold calls may have been more productive in the past, they certainly weren’t cutting it in terms of the rapid client growth he needed to stay in business. He and his team realized that if they wanted their appointments to multiply, close rates to skyrocket and sales cycles to shorten, they had to start making personal connections.
They had to find the best way to leverage their existing network and ask them for introductions to prospective clients in their network, without spending hours on social media or LinkedIn. And that’s why they developed Outro.
So who is in your network that you could reach out to today? It’s as easy as a phone call asking “Hey, do you know a guy?” or an email of the same. It’s barely more effort than a cold call, but you guarantee a better response from your prospect because there’s a personal connection.
If you’re really serious about boosting your rate of introductions, check out this short intro video to Outro and sign up for a demo today.
This post is based on an interview with Bubba Page, founder of Outro.