Get back on track: With a referral introduction, your prospect wants to do business with you.
Radio silence: You know, when your prospects don’t return your calls or emails. You’ve had several conversations, forged a solid relationship, identified next steps, and even scheduled a specific time to talk. Then nothing….
All Is Not Lost
We’re salespeople. We want it now…or better yet, yesterday. Our prospects rarely have the same sense of urgency. Even I (and I only work from referral introductions) am a recipient of radio silence from time to time. I should know better by now than to get upset and think the worst: they went with a competitor; decided not to move forward; had no budget; they didn’t get back to me because they were uncomfortable sharing the bad news.
Step back from the ledge: 99 percent of the time, these aren’t the reasons. It’s typically that the prospects were busy, plain and simple. Sometimes they were on vacation, out sick, traveling, or didn’t have the requisite information to respond to me. When we do connect, there are many apologies.
Your Expertise Matters
Yes, apologies. You see, a friend or colleague has always introduced us. We have a unique relationship because they were referred to me. They view me as the expert in referral sales, and they really do want to learn how to make referrals work within their organization. They also want to respect their friend who introduced us. That’s the power of referral selling.
(Read: Get Your Referral Introduction.)
Welcome the Reconnection
Don’t get hung up on radio silence. Check in, send something of interest, or even a hand-written note. In several situations, I’ve sent an email with the subject line, “Referrals on hold?” I write a very brief message and state that perhaps there are other priorities, but I’m available to help with referral selling anytime. I always receive an immediate reply, and it’s typically one of the reasons I mentioned. We’re back on track, and if the project is postponed, I now have a timeline.
If all else fails, check back with your Referral Source. He always knows what’s happening and can give you the inside track. You’ll know how to adjust the volume.
Radio silence is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean we have to be mired in it. Referrals power your success and progress. How long do you wait to reconnect? What’s the craziest, most frustrating, most real “I’ve been out of touch” reason you’ve heard? Comment here and continue the conversation.