Calling your new referral prospectsArticle added by Bill Cates on February 19, 2010
Bill Cates

Bill Cates

Silver Spring , MD

Joined: October 13, 2006

My Company

Referral Coach

What do you say when you get on the phone with your new referral prospects? Here's a template from which you can base your own script. If you're serious about refining your current phone script, I think you'll find it particularly helpful to read this column a few times and then craft your own new script that fits your situation. Since I believe the best referral is an introduction, we'll assume that in this sample script.

Opening: Hello (prospect's name), this is (your name) with ABC Financial. I know you're busy, the reason I'm calling is that your name recently came up in a conversation I was having with (referrer's name).

Introduction: Did George tell you that I would be calling?

Great. By the way, George is a real admirer of your golf game. Do you play often?

Bob, I'm curious. What did George have to say to you about the work I do? Do you currently have a close working relationship with a financial professional?

Yes (working with a financial pro): That's great. Then you know the importance of the right kind of professional advice. I'm curious, have you and your advisor created a specific financial plan from which you make most of your financial decisions?

Yes (have a plan): Of course, if you're completely happy with your plan and your current advisor, we may not have anything further to discuss. On the other hand, there may be some ways I can help you that your current advisor is just not aware of. Based on the good things George said about me, would you be open to scheduling a no-obligation meeting to get a fresh look at your situation?

No (have not done a plan): I think one of the reasons George was so interested in introducing you to me is because of the process we use to set proper financial goals and then create a plan to make sure you're making progress toward those goals.

May I ask you a few of quick questions?
  • Have you set very specific financial goals?

  • How has your progress been toward those goals?

  • Are you confident you'll reach your goals?

  • Do you save regularly, or do you typically invest in lump sums? In what way?

  • What is your greatest concern these days about your financial goals?
Based on this conversation, I really think I'll be of some help to you. I'd like to suggest that we schedule a no-obligation meeting to review your situation in greater detail and to discuss the services we offer. Whether we end up working together or not, I'm confident you'll find this meeting to be a valuable use of your time. Do you have your calendar handy?

No (not working with an advisor): I think one of the reasons George was so interested in introducing you to me, is because of the process we use to setting proper financial goals and then creating a plan to make sure you're making progress toward those goals.

May I ask you a few of quick questions?
  • Have you set very specific financial goals?

  • How has your progress been toward those goals? (Are you confident you'll reach your goals?)

  • Do you save regularly or do you typically invest in lump sums?

  • Are you participating in an IRA or retirement plan at work?

  • What is your greatest concern these days about your financial goals?
Based on this conversation, I really think I'll be able to help you. I'd like to suggest that we schedule a no-obligation meeting to review your situation in greater detail and to discuss the services we offer. Whether we end up working together or not, I'm confident you'll find this meeting to be a valuable use of your time. Do you have your calendar handy?

As I stated at the beginning of this column, your first phone call to your new referral prospect will be influenced by many things. The important thing is that you don't "wing it." You need to have a very well-thought-out approach. You don't have to script it if you don't want, but you better not fumble and bumble. Be clear about who you are and why you're calling. An important phrase I used above is, "I know you're busy, the reason I'm calling is..." I highly recommend you use this as the opening to all your first calls to your prospects.

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