A solid approach to calling referred prospects
By Bill Cates
Your first phone call to your new referred prospect will be influenced by many things. You need to have a very thorough approach.
What do you say when you get on the phone with your newly referred prospects? Here’s a template from which you can base your own script. I think you’ll find it particularly helpful to read this column a few times and then craft your own dialogue that fits your situation. Since I believe the best referral is an introduction, we’ll assume that in this sample script.
Hello (prospect’s name), this is (your name) with (company name). 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).
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?
(Prospect says yes.) 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?
(Prospects says yes.) 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?
(Prospect says no, that he/she doesn't have 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?
As I stated at the beginning of this column, your first phone call to your newly referred prospect will be influenced by many things. The important thing is that you don’t wing it. You need to have a very thorough 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.