Adapted from Chapter 8 of
Referral Upgrade: A New Way to Find Your Very Best Clients
GET THE APPOINTMENT
When I began in business, I noticed three things about the other sales people in my office.
• Those who made phone calls got appointments.
• Those who got appointments placed business.
• Those who placed business got paid.
Naturally, I wanted to be among those who got paid, and it didn’t take me long to realize that the more calls I made, the more people I saw, the more money I made.
So I decided to devote from nine to eleven each morning to making phone calls to book appointments. That worked well. I also reasoned that if I moved all the activity that didn’t involve seeing people to Fridays, it might work even better. Then I came up with a nine-to-four rule, which meant that between nine and four, Monday through Thursday, I had just two objectives in mind: meeting with a prospect or calling to make appointments. Back then, I made sixty-two phone calls each day for years. I kept records, and my business flourished. I don’t need to make that many calls now, but doing so definitely works when you are new in business.
Most people resist calling for appointments for several reasons:
• They are afraid of rejection.
• They don’t like being screened by the receptionist, or turned down by the client if they do get through.
• They may invest valuable time for minimal results.
• They don’t know what to say when they get there.
What if there was an easier way? There is. Let’s look at a method that will transform your business completely if you put it to work.
REFERRAL SOURCE PHONE SCRIPT
Note: I have used this method via text and email but it works best on the phone.
Let’s say I’m calling John Abacus, an accountant I know who may have clients that match my very best client profile. When I dial his number, his assistant will answer:
“Good Morning, this is the accounting office of John Abacus, how may I help you?”
HANK: “Good morning, this is Hank Frazee, may I speak with John?”
ASSISTANT: “May I ask what this is about?”
HANK: “Yes, tell him I want to speak to him about referring him.”
John will get on the phone. Or, if he is busy, his assistant may offer to put me through to his voicemail. I will say yes and leave my message as stated above and my number. That is my entire script. He will call back. Back when I was making dozens of phone calls each day, I devised numerous scripts with multiple questions to get to the key question that would get the appointment. This works better.
Let’s pause for a moment. The essence of what happened in the above call is that I focused on what I could do to help John. That is a powerful mind shift. It changes the dynamics completely, for both parties. When you focus on what you can do to help your prospect, his attitude towards you changes and he will agree to meeting with you. It bears repeating that you must sincerely wish to refer him. But you are offering much more than just a referral. You are offering to help him achieve his dreams. And when he understands that, he will love you.
Let me give you another example. For over a year, I had been trying to meet with a potential referrer. Let’s call him Pete Stuart, the managing partner of a major law firm. Though we had a friendly acquaintance, we’ve spoken only occasionally in the last few years. For months, I tried to get in front of him, and for many months nothing worked. I put my assistant on it, with the same results. We tried email, still nothing. We asked another of our partners to book the appointment with a partner in the firm. We advanced only part way up the ladder.
Pete has numerous billionaire clients and even more in the hundred-million-up category, so showing him what we could do would be a big deal. But we never succeeded in securing the appointment. That’s because he knew all along that it was all about me, rather than about him, and how I might use him to get to his clients. I’m putting it bluntly for a reason. We must be clear that this is how we come across to the people we call about showing them our products and services. We must acknowledge this in order to change it.
So I changed my mindset and my method, with the following results. As an experiment, I asked my assistant, Eileen, to call using this two-sentence script. Here is the call exactly as it went:
PETE’S ASSITANT: “Pete Stuart’s office, how may I help you?”
EILEEN: “Hi, this is Eileen from Hank Frazee’s office. Hank would like to get together with Pete to talk about how Hank might be able to refer him.”
PETE’S ASSISTANT: “He’s on the phone, may I take a message?”
EILEEN: “Yes, Hank asked me to call to set up a time to get together with Pete to talk about how Hank might be able to refer him.”
PETE’S ASSISTANT: “May I call you back?”
PETE’S ASSISTANT: “Ok, I will talk with him and call you back.”
PETE’S ASSISTANT: “Thank you.”
An hour later, Pete’s assistant called back and booked the appointment. That was after a year of trying to book the appointment the old way. Do this with the hidden intention of just pitching them, and you will be toast. Do this with the genuine intention of referring them, and you will be on your way to meeting your Big Three- your very best clients, referrers and opportunities. See the home page of my blog for your free copy of The Big Three Profile.
Once you try Referral Upgrade, you will abandon flying standby when it comes to getting referrals. This is so much better than making sixty-two blind calls a day and asking unproductive whom-do-you-know-who questions. This is the path to making that transition (the term “standby” is used throughout the book to describe asking for referrals and getting random or no results).
Delegate making appointments. This will free up your nine-to-four time significantly. Enlisting your part- or full-time or even virtual assistant to make this call is an amazingly efficient way to fill your schedule with exactly the people you need to see.
Now you may be thinking this is great, but I don’t have anyone to refer them to. What do I do about that? Easy, the two most likely reasons you may think you don’t have anyone to refer them to are:
• You are new in the business, or
• You don’t feel you have the expertise or contacts that will fit with the referral source you are about to meet.
There is an easy fix to this, and you don’t have to have been in business for 30 years to do it.
Partner with someone who has the experience and contacts that fit this opportunity. I do this all the time. Sometimes I am the expert, and other times I am the rainmaker, the person who brings the client or the referral source to the table. Does it really matter which role you play if you are helping your client get what they want, and learning and getting paid as you go?
You may already have someone in mind that you want to refer to this potential referral source. A second reason for getting this appointment is to interview your potential referral source to determine who they would like to meet who can help them live their best life going forward. (See Chapter 9 in Referral Upgrade)
This method works best if you already have some kind of relationship with the person with whom you have set up the appointment, rather than calling people whom you don’t know.
I know a lot of people and can virtually always help the person I am interviewing to meet others who can help them achieve their dreams. When I do the interview with them, they almost always refer me to the people I want to meet as well, without my asking them to do so.
Remember, if you don’t have the contacts, bring someone who does and partner this opportunity.
By helping your clients and referral sources to identify and live their best life going forward, you will take a step towards living your best life going forward.
It’s worth repeating that this method only works if you are genuinely trying to help the person you are calling. If you do that, you will find this method works nearly every time.
Getting the appointment is part of the system within my new book Referral Upgrade: A New Way to Find Your Very Best Clients. Please visit my blog to purchase a copy to learn how to spend the rest of your career in front of your very best clients.
Please feel free to reach out to me with questions at email@example.com.