Leads to Customers – Part 2
Today they discussed the other conversation related to this – that is – if you are a colleague/networking or referral colleague, how do you turn an enquiry/cold lead into a hot referral for another business. In other words, if you over hear in a café a complete stranger complaining about their personal trainer and you have a PT to refer to, how could you turn this freezing lead into a hot referral.
Scott Deaves, David Deane Real Estate was quick off the mark to comment that the most successful conversations will be where you can provide case studies/personal experience with the prospect lead rather than just saying “I know a guy who … ?” Using phrases such as “I have personally used …” or “I have a friend who uses …. who is constantly telling me how terrific they are and that I should try them out” gives your information to a prospective referral more credibility – remember, generally with a cold lead there is no established relationship.
Andrew Gallagher, Lollyworld stressed the importance of know the referring business well because when you refer, your reputation goes with that referral. If you don’t have personal experience with the business then do a “dance card” with the owner to understand the business philosophy, services, reputation etc.
Dan Migate, Fit4Life Personal Training – Lawnton stretched the opportunity to suggest that, if you have a relationship with the prospective referral or the conversation with the stranger prospective referral is going very well, you may have an opportunity to suggest you phone the referring business as you are together and start a conversation between the prospect and the referred business then and there.
Scott chimed in and added that alternatively, ask the prospective referral if it is OK if you pass on their details to the referred business to contact them to discuss further.
A tip I have developed through networking is to make sure I carry networking colleagues’ business cards with me so if an opportunity arose I could pass on the referred business’s details if the prospective referral didn’t want their details provided the other way. Also in relation to business cards, have space on the back of your own business card to write details of the referred business (contact name, business name, phone number and website URL) if you don’t have their business card. Particularly if it is a stranger to you who you are establishing a relationship with from cold, your business and its details will also be passed to them.
This situation raised a question – if I am not carrying other businesses’ business cards, how can I provide the details. Simple – keep the details in your phone! Let’s face it, I think my 85 year old mother is the only person I know who doesn’t have a mobile phone. The contacts area provides detailed opportunities to record information. Some phones enable groups to be set up so if you are a member of a networking group like ACBC, you can put the information about your group members in a specific group area making access easy. Scott also advised there are a number of Aps called “Groups” or something like that that also enable you to create groups on your phone and record contact details.
The general agreement of the group was that even if dealing with a very cold lead, approach it in a way to establish rapore and relationships. Suggest to the prospective referral that if they contact the business to mention you and they will really look after them or things like that to make the referral more personal.
Which led to the final area covered by the conversation – how to turn a cold lead into a referral through social media. That is, if you are a member of a group on Facebook and someone posts asking for a recommended business that they need, how do you make your recommendation stand out from all the others?
This aspect provided quite a bit of conversation in the group which in summary concluded that the best approach is as follows:
- Tag the person and the business you are referring.
- Put in a contact number (this is particularly important if the person seeking the recommendations accesses facebook by phone as they will be able to just click on the phone number and phone straight away)
- Put in personal experience and/or case study information (as discussed above)
- Add the website link (it was suggested that if, for example, the referred business is a member of a group like ACBC, the website link maybe best from the group website if it has reviews/testimonials capabilities.
Most importantly, if you are referred on social media, respond to the referral asap. It maybe useful to develop a bank of social media elevator pitches to be able to quickly respond to recommendations and referrals.