Sunday, August 20, 2006

The 10 Steps of Referral Prospecting

Ask for specific referrals to narrow the customer's focus.
Gather as much information about the referral as possible.
Ask your customer for permission to use his or her name.
Ask your customer for help in obtaining an appointment with the referral.
Contact the referral as soon as possible.
Inform your customer about the outcome of the contact.
Build referral alliances (this can be through sources such as tip clubs, centres of influence, key people in the industry).
Prospect for referrals just like you prospect for sales leads.
Rank your referrals as you do your customers:
A for hot (you know a lot about the referral and the referrer introduces you)
B for warm (you know little about the referral and you can use the referrer's name).
C for cold (you know nothing about the referral, and you can't use the referrer's name).
Seek internal referrals (other departments, locations, divisions, branches and subsidiaries).


Frank Furness CSP CFP is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in sales and sales management. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 42 countries. Based in London, Frank is the President of the Professional Speakers Association of Europe and the current chair of the International PEG.
His publications and sales CDs have been sold globally. For more information or to sign up for the free 'Sales Tips & Ideas' newsletter, email
frank@frankfurness.com or telephone+ 44 (0) 870 240 6505. www.frankfurness.com

How to win competitors' customers

HOW TO WIN COMPETITORS' CUSTOMERS


1. Think long term

Don't give up when you hear, 'I'm satisfied.' Satisfaction may be temporary. Your prospect's needs may change, or you may provide a good reason for switching.

2. Develop a relationship

Once you've mastered the relationship strategies, you will be able to determine quickly whether you can develop a rapport with a prospect, sale or no sale. By developing a friendship, you will be able to ...

3. Study needs

Take your time, do research, and ask a lot of non-threatening questions so you can find out your prospect's needs and how well they are being satisfied. The key is to find a need gap and offer a solution.

4. Sell yourself

Personal chemistry is important, but so is the knowledge that you are an enthusiastic, earnest, professional, ethical, caring expert who would be nothing but an asset to know and do business with. Come up with new ideas for your prospects. Show them that you are on their team, sale or no sale.

5. Add value

So many products and services are commodities that differentiation may be difficult. That is why you sell yourself. That is also why you have to differentiate your product with added value such as service and performance guarantees, superior services, and better delivery schedules - whatever it takes to be better.

6. Ask for a no-risk trial order

Many customers are loyal to their suppliers, but will grant you a trial order if you ask for it. Make it a no-risk proposition. Ensure your prospect's satisfaction with some kind of guarantee, and bend over backward to make sure the trial order makes a very positive impression.

7. Ask for a portion of their business

'Stealing' a competitor's customer may not be an all-or-nothing deal. You may have to do it bit by bit, proving yourself slowly as you go along. Ask for a small percentage of the prospect's business and you may find that percentage will grow.

8. Be persistent

Nothing succeeds more than persistence. All things being equal, the persistent salesperson will win the account every time. Keep in touch with prospects, think long term, be a consultant and ally, and you will plant drought-resistant seeds.


Frank Furness CSP is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in sales and sales management. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 42 countries. Based in London, Frank is the President of the Professional Speakers Association of Europe and the current chair of the International PEG.
His publications and sales CDs have been sold globally. For more information or to sign up for the free 'Sales Tips & Ideas' newsletter, email
frank@frankfurness.com or telephone+ 44 (0) 870 240 6505. www.frankfurness.com