• Once a quarter, contact everyone on your list, remind them of your value proposition, and ask for introductions to those who could profit from it.
• Provide a description of your ideal referral, e.g., heads a profit center, manages a sales force, owns a small business, chief operating officer of health care organization, etc. That will increase the quality of suggestions.
• Call referrals on the phone, never send an email. Cite the referral source in your conversation or voice mail to create an obligation.
• Qualify the referral to be sure the person is a potential buyer. If so, focus on a personal meeting as the next step.
• Don’t try to “sell” on the phone. Spending money to travel to meet a true buyer is a cost of doing business if you’re a professional.
• Continue to mention your value to key contacts in your business and social communities: club members, doctors, attorneys, association colleagues, social contacts, etc.
• Don’t expect others who don’t know you to provide you with referrals. When strangers give me business cards at an event I simply throw them away. I have no idea of their quality and it’s not my obligation to check them out.
• Provide referrals to high potential referral sources to create likely reciprocity. You have to “give to get.”
© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.