Follow Up The Follow Up
And get more sales success ...
POSTED BY JACKY SHERMAN ON 15/11/2017 @ 8:00AM
Have you noticed how animated the conversation gets at network meetings and training sessions when the subject of following up gets raised? Everyone has a story of how someone they referred didn't follow up the lead they gave ...
From the moment the referral is made until the deal is done, you need to stay in the loop and facilitate the sales process.
Quite naturally, they are cross and usually say "I'll never refer to them again!" When I ask "what did you do?" they usually say "nothing" but go on and on about how angry they were.
They are, of course, quite right to be upset. Every time you give a referral you give away a little bit of your reputation. You trust the other person to deliver and, at the very least, phone up your contact.
When they don't, the danger is your contact loses faith in you! So why take that risk? Take responsibility for the total referral process. The referral isn't complete until the two people involved have met, decided whether to do business together, completed that business, one of them has been paid and are the other is happy with the results.
There can be a whole multitude of things that could go wrong between you saying "give Fred a call" and your referral partner getting the work. Here are the top 10 I've been involved in:
Your referral isn't really the sort of client your partner wants. He won't say so as he doesn't want to hurt your feelings. So somehow the call doesn't get made.
Your contact didn't really want to see your referral partner and only said yes because it was you. Then somehow she never takes the call and can even deny receiving it.
Your contact was on holiday and no-one passes your partner's message on.
Your partner gets distracted by personal issues and time goes past and then she feels too embarrassed to make the call.
Your partner turns up for the sales meeting and your contact had completely the wrong idea of what your referral partner can offer and doesn't have a need.
Your contact chooses another supplier and just stops taking your referral partner's calls leaving them in mid air.
Your partner does a poor job or gets into an argument with your contact over terms and conditions.
Your contact doesn't pay within the agreed terms.
My tip this week then is to stay in the loop. Take responsibility for YOUR relationship with both of these people. So follow up the follow up:
Only refer people whose service and ethics you know and trust.
Only give qualified referrals where your contact has a definite need or want.
Give enough information to ensure all parties know why they are being introduced.
Give people permission to say no if they wish without offending you.
Facilitate the initial meeting. More than just giving out a business card. There are actually 10 shades of referrals. From just giving out a name and contact information all the way up to bringing your partner a closed deal. Make sure you at least know that the initial meeting is arranged.
Go back to both parties to check progress regularly.
Unstick the sticking points if you can.
Feedback good and bad news.
Be careful not to get caught as a piggy in the middle if a dispute breaks out. Make it clear where your involvement begins and ends.
Following up like this will make you come across as a professional business person with your contacts best interests at heart. It will increase your credibility, reduce problems and enhance your reputation. Just the sort of person everyone wants to do business with.
If you want to learn how to give trouble free referrals that enhance your reputation then call me on +44 (0) 7970 638857 or click here to ping over an email because staying in the loop and taking responsibility for the referral really can help to enhance your own reputation.
Until next time ...
More about Jacky Sherman ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those a-ha moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forward. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!
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