Man with a hand extended in greetingA referral without an advance, agreed-upon introduction is a cold call. Don’t ice your opportunity!

My phone rang at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 1st —my last call before the long 4th of July holiday weekend. A woman named Sue introduced herself—very friendly—and told me that she had been referred by Jane (someone I know well).

First, Sue complimented me on my website. She’d researched it thoroughly and believed in referrals. Turns out she is a financial planner. Then she began her pitch: Sue told me how she met with our mutual connection, Jane and her husband, and showed them the amount of money they could save in their taxes, and how soon they could retire—a scenario they never imagined.

The Hard Sell

Frankly, I was a little taken a-back, as I had no knowledge about who Sue was. She might as well have been cold calling me. When I told her I was taken care of in the financial planning department, she continued. Sue told me that I’d never seen her company’s approach, no other advisers had it, and she wanted to schedule a time to meet to review (basically, to show me what I’d been missing).

In the past, I took the time to tell the caller that they were missing the introduction and I’d share tips about referral-sales strategies that would work better. In this case, I was put off by Sue’s hard sell to get the appointment—pretty much an assumptive close—and I was rushing to leave my office for the holiday weekend.

If It’s Not Hot, It’s Cold

Our mutual contact, Jane, gave her my number, but did not provide an introduction. I didn’t have any background. And I didn’t have an opportunity to opt-in. Sue made a cold call. (Learn more about how to ask for referrals – identifying your Ideal Client, what to say, and how to say it).

Would I have met with Sue if Jane introduced us? In this case, I wouldn’t. However, I would have told Jane I wasn’t interested, but I would be glad to chat with Sue and help her with referrals.

Sorry, Sue. Next time remember the introduction.

It’s Summer: Referrals Are Hot!

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