Be the Change Blog   •   May 28, 2019

As entrepreneurs, we schedule 1-1’s with potential clients and new networking connections; so why don’t we go out of our way to do the same with our friends? After all, our friends know us better than most.  I say it’s time we take our friends out on a professional date to teach them about who our sales qualified leads are (who we want them to refer to us).

This applies if you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, creative, artist, musician, sell or promote a product or service, or fit into many other similar categories.

It’s time you take your friends out on a professional date to teach them about who your qualified leads are.

Why?

Your friends are the ultimate testament to your character and probably already reference you to their friends, family, and relevant contacts. So, why not spend some professional time with your closest buddies or even acquaintances and teach them about your preferred referrals and learn about theirs as well. That way, they can listen for keywords and ask insightful investigative questions to potential clients before you even connect, ensuring a better connection and a more likely sale.

How?

If you haven’t already, the first thing to do is identify who your golden egg is. This is your prime referral, the person or business you thrive with and likely leads to a sale or close. Hopefully they’ve gotten to you through your golden goose, who has already pumped them up for you and connected you two.

Your golden goose (or geese) is a person who refers people to you and speaks comfortably on your behalf, looking out and listening for your potential clients based on your description of your golden egg. You likely pass contacts back and forth and have a mutually beneficial relationship. They may even help set up a meeting time for you and their lead depending on your rapport. They’re in the highest level of profitability with you from the VCP relationship (visibility, credibility, profitability).

We all want golden geese in our network. 

How do I teach a friend to look out for a qualified lead and become a credible or even profitable lead source?

According to the professional global networking group bni, we can create more referrals for people by following four steps.

  1. Have your friend listen for complaints, needs, wants, and desires from the prospect to see if your services/products could solve their needs.
  2. Get them to identify who/what the prospect is truly looking for. (For instance, do they need a new website or just refined messaging?)
  3. Ask them to verify with the prospect that they are ready to take another step.
    • If their prospect seems like that they are in need of your services but they’re not yet ready to take the step to connect with you, have your friend provide them with your information so that they can follow-up in their own time, or encourage them to explore what you offer online in the meantime.
  4. Encourage them to build you up so that they want to schedule an appointment with you.
    • Always have your friend record the lead’s contact info, preferred method of contact, as well as some notes for you about their experience with pitching you, what their relationship is with the prospect/lead, and what their behavioral style is (fast/slow acting, task/people oriented.)

Need help identifying your ideal customer? Stay tuned for future articles. In the meantime, here’s a great one from Entrepreneur.

Time to schedule a 1-1

Now that you see the value in informing your friends of who your ideal referrals are, it’s time to treat your friend to a drink or some food, catch up, and welcome them into your professional circle. Let me know how it goes!

Want to invite me into your professional circle? 

Let’s schedule a 1-1 to get some coffee and learn about each other’s businesses. 

Best,

Maria Shayna