So you've met a great prospect or received a great introduction. What's next? Here are some dos and don’ts for when you call your new referral prospects (or any prospect, for that matter):

1. Don’t say “How are you today?” in your opening statement. 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, the reason I’m calling is…”

3. Use what the referral source likes or admires about the – if it’s natural and genuine for you. 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.

4. Put some benefits into your opening. And how you do this can help you stand out or look like everyone else.  For instance, telephone selling expert Jim Dominski (www.teleconceptsconsulting.com) 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."

Jim’s example is more targeted and from the prospect’s point of view.  In fact, the more targeted your opening, usually the better.

5. If you are a specialist, present yourself as such. The more specialized you are to this prospect’s situation, the more he/she is likely to want to talk to you. Niche and grow rich!

6. Don’t assume anything, ask. Don’t assume you have the solution to their problems. Prescription without diagnosis is mal practice. 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 them some questions.  However, don’t ask personal financial questions like income, net worth, etc. No one wants to discuss this information with a stranger.

7. Don’t wing it!  Before you ever 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. That’s not the time to fumble around. Your prospect wants their next financial professional to be confident and clear.

If you like some of the phrases I’ve presented here, use them. If you don’t, find your own words to accomplish the same result.

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