Three Ways to Blow a Referral Appointment

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There’s still time to sign up for my 10-week teleclass

on Client Referrals, which starts this Thursday, April 28!

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Your good client, Joan, has referred you to her friend, Marie. You’ve arranged it so that Marie is expecting your call.  You make the call…and don’t get the appointment.   Maybe you’re making one of these three mistakes:

1. You opt for asking “How are you today?” before identifying your connection to Joan. This is what telemarketers, who don’t have any connection, do when they call.  They ask how you are or how your day is going.  It raises all of the referral’s defenses and gets her ready to slam down the phone.  Instead, make sure you bring out Joan’s name right at the beginning:

Is this Marie?  Hi, Marie, this is Roy from XYZ firm.  Your friend Joan suggested I call you…

2. You rush right into your agenda—to set an appointment—with no attempt to establish rapport. Rapport should come first in any client or prospective client situation.  One of the ways I’ll be teaching people to establish it in Marketing Strategies I: Client Referrals is to bring elements of your conversation with the person who referred you into the beginning of the phone call:

Marie, what did Joan tell you about me?  Can I share with you what she told me about you?  …Is that true?  How do you do it?…

3. You try to “close” on an appointment. Many of your prospective clients feel that moving too quickly to get them to meet with you, without even asking if they’d like an appointment, is pushy and “salesy.”  You may say something like:

I’d like to sit down with you to show you what I can do for you. Is Tuesday at 2:00 good for you or is Thursday at 4:00 more convenient?

The approach that works better is to spend a little more time talking about their situations and then let them choose to sit down with you:

Marie, I don’t know for sure, at this point, if I can help you.  What I normally do at this point is suggest that we sit down for about an hour at a time that works for both of us and explore whether it would make sense for us to work together.  Would you want to do that?…  How about Tuesday at 2:00?

It’s not too late to join my teleconference and address, once and for all, the awkward, uncomfortable mistakes that keep you from having all the business that you want. Whatever you do, remember to keep REACHING…