Here are five critical things I believe you should do to turn a referral into a quality introduction.

1. Learn as much as you can about your new prospect.

Ask the powerful questions, “What’s going on in their life that’s important to them at this time?” Craft your approach to your new prospect with this in mind.

2. Let your client know that you think their friend would probably prefer to hear from them before they hear from you.

Say something like, “My guess is that George would prefer to hear from you before he hears from me. Let’s talk about how you introduce me to George so he feels comfortable.”

3. Create in-person introductions whenever you can.

A typical in-person introduction is where you take your client and their friend to lunch. Don’t talk business, unless it comes up from their side. Avoid giving any advice until you learn more about their situation, goals, etc.

4. Discuss what the client is likely to say to their friend and how their friend is likely to react (receive the referral).

Say something like, “What do you think you need to say to George to get him to take my call? And how do you think he’ll respond to this introduction?” This helps your client make the best possible introduction.

5. Don’t leave the meeting without knowing who will do what by when.

Set a time frame for the introduction. Say something like, “When do you think you’ll have a chance to leave a voice for George so I know when to follow up?” If the client wants to have a real conversation with George – not just leave a voice mail or send an email – then say, “When do you think you’ll be able to speak to George about his so I know when to follow up?”

Will some introductions fall through the cracks or not be the quality you hope for? Sure. Taking these steps will help your chances, however.

If you have any result-producing tips you’d like to share with me, please send them to BillCates@Referralcoach.com

Bill Cates is the author of Get More Referrals Now! and Don’t Keep Me a Secret! His new book, Beyond Referrals, will be released by McGraw-Hill in April. To receive Bill’s