There has been a lot written about how to get referrals. I covered that ground in a new way in Baseline Selling, But once you have the referral, or preferably, the introduction, what is the best way to approach your new prospect?

This will work if your customer or client has spoken to the prospect first, turning the referral into a formal introduction. They should have asked something like, “If I knew someone who could really make a difference in the area of (your product or service description), would you want to speak with him/her?”

If the prospect wants to speak with you, your first call should be something like, “Hi John, It’s Dave Kurlan. Do you know who I am? Mary told me that you wanted to speak with me. How can I help?”

And what happens if you leave a message that isn’t promptly returned?

Try sending an email like this:

Hi John,

I left a voice mail for you on Monday. Mary (this would be the person who gave you the referral) told me you wanted to chat and I figured you were busy when I called so I’m trying to reach out by email today.

I don’t have a sense from Mary as to whether you WANTED to talk with me, were WILLING to talk with me or you would take a call AS A FAVOR to Mary or me. If it’s the first, email me a few times when you’re available to talk by phone. If it’s the last, just let me know and we won’t have to waste our time. If it’s the middle, we can quickly determine whether it makes sense to talk more after just a couple of minutes on the phone.

I’m looking forward to meeting you and learning about your (insert your product or service description here) challenges.


Your Name