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Prime the Pump of Your Referral Engine: Have a Plan for Your Rejects

It’s probably not top of mind, but having a plan for handing off business to another business is a great way to prime the pump for future referrals that are a fit for you.

We’ve all been there – an inquiry comes in from our website or after a speaking engagement and the prospect (eager and motivated to do something) just isn’t a fit for us.

So let’s say that you are a reseller specializing in Sage MAS 90 and/or Sage MAS 500, you should research and have a go-to Peachtree consultant in your contacts list that you can refer when you get an inquiry from a prospect who simply can’t afford or would be overwhelmed by your products and services.

Even though you are not a fit, there was something about your website, about your marketing, about you – that triggered the further inquiry.  You are in a position of influence with the prospect.  So as you are qualifying and discovering that this isn’t a fit, it is a much warmer experience to be able to say, “I really can’t help you, but I do know of a consultant that can provide a better fit, may I introduce you to one another?”  This could be as simple as an email to both parties including the contact information for both parties.

There is something to be said for sending someone in the right direction.  I know I appreciate it.  More than likely, the prospect will remember this consideration.  When they are talking to a friend or associate who is a better fit and is in the market for your products and services, they are very likely to refer you.  There is also the possibility that this person could move to another job with challenges and resources that require you – the favorable experience they had with you in the past will improve your chances of being called on in their new venture.

And, don’t forget about the consultant to whom you guided this lead.  I’d have a conversation with them that went like this, “I am certain that there will be more opportunities for me to send you the leads that aren’t a fit for me – and that in all probability they will be more numerous than the number of instances where you need have a lead or a customer who has outgrown your services.  Nevertheless, is there an opportunity for me to be your go-to referral partner for those situations?”

Finding a home for our rejects is an often forgotten aspect of building our referral network.  But remember:  give to get.  It works.

3 Responses to Prime the Pump of Your Referral Engine: Have a Plan for Your Rejects

  1. […] Dawn Westerberg offers advice that would make John Jantsch proud. In her post called Prime the Pump of Your Referral Engine, Dawn notes that if someone is not a good match for you, lead them in the direction of someone who […]

  2. Wayne Schulz says:

    Thanks for the reminder. This happens to me ALL the time and I need to develop the plan for making a referral.

    Up until now I’ve done absolutely nothing with these leads (I bet about 12 a month who might be feasible).

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