Calling referral prospects is a different animal from calling prospects from other lead sources. You want to fully leverage the power of the introduction.

Here are seven do’s and don’ts for when you call your new referral prospects (or any prospect, for that matter).

Don'ts

1) Don’t say “How are you today?” in your opening statement.

This is one of the most common prospecting call mistakes - this screams “telemarketer!”

2) Don’t ask “Are you busy?”

Of course they’re busy. When they say “yes,” the tension mounts. Open with “I know you’re busy, so I’ll be brief.”

3) Don’t assume anything.

Don’t assume you have the solution to their problems. Ask! 

Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice. Tell them you don’t know if you can be a resource for them as you were for their friend, but a quick conversation should reveal that. Then ask some questions.

4) Don’t wing it.

Before you pick up the phone to call a referral prospect, be prepared. Rehearse what you want to say a couple of times. Be clear on your opening statement. You don’t want to be fumbling around to find your words. Your prospect needs to be confident in what you do or they’ll never give you the time of day.

Dos

5) Do mention what the referral source likes or admires about your new prospect -- if it’s natural and genuine for you to do so.

For instance, “George, Mary had a lot of nice things so say about you. Do you want to know what she said?” That should create some curiosity and maybe even get a laugh.

6) Do put some benefits into your opening.

How you do this can help you stand out or look like everyone else. For instance, telephone selling expert Jim Dominski gives this example:

Boring: "We work with business owners by providing solutions to their retirement planning needs."
Better: "We work with business owners who are busy and struggle to find the time to do adequate retirement planning and investing."
 

The second example is targeted and from the prospect’s point of view. The more targeted your opening, the better.

7) If you are a specialist, do present yourself as such.

The more specialized you are to this prospect’s situation, the more he or she is likely to want to talk to you. Niche and grow rich!

If you like some of the phrases I’ve presented here, please use them. If you don’t, find your own words to accomplish the same result. Next, check out a few more phone propecting tips for more ways to improve your calls.

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Originally published Apr 3, 2015 9:00:00 AM, updated June 11 2021

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Call Prospecting Call Logging App