Recipe for Success: Introductions

By Chris Carlson, ACTG Sales Development Expert

Almost every salesperson I know hates to cold call.  Instead, salespeople want to grow their business through referrals and introductions.  This certainly makes sense, but the biggest problem salespeople make is that they do not create a recipe for success for introductions.

I would like to share with you the key ingredients of the recipe for success in building your business through introductions.

Ingredient #1:   You must have a goal for the number of introductions you want to receive each week.  Without a goal, how do you know what or how much to do?  Setting a weekly goal is critical to success, yet very few actually do this.

Ingredient #2:   Know the type of client you want.  You need to be crystal clear so you can tell your Centers of Influence (COIs) what type of client you would like them to introduce you to.  If you are not clear on the type of client you want, you will receive too many introductions to suspects you really do not want to work with.

Ingredient #3:  Identify your Referral Sources.  My recommendation is this.  Take a sheet of paper and make 3 columns.  In the first column, list all of your current COIs.  These are the people that believe in you and consistently introduce you to prospects.  In the second column, list the people that you know and believe could be good source of introductions, but your relationship with them has not yet developed to the point where they are introducing you to prospects.  In the third column, write down the Big Kahunas.  These are the people that are so influential in your market or community that if they ever became your advocate, it would rock your world.  Now take that list and look at it often to remind yourself whom you need to be in contact with.  Keep it very visible, because if you put it away, it becomes out of sight, out of mind.

Ingredient #4:   As you plan your week, write down the people who you are going to ask for introductions from.  This could be somebody you have an appointment with, someone you are going to see at an event or just somebody who you are going to call or e-mail.  This prior planning is critical.

Ingredient #5:  Be committed to your goals.  Too many people are good goal setters, but not good goal getters.  Keep track of your success so you can make any necessary adjustments.

Imagine what your year would look like if you were to receive 50, 100, 150 or more introductions.  Not all that you are introduced to will want or need your services, but for most of you, all you need is a fraction of them to become your client and you will have a phenomenal year.

If you want to build your business through referrals and introductions, make sure you have the proper recipe for success.