Articles and blog posts about selling talk a lot about cold calls, but seldom deal with warm calls.
While I think cold calling has an undeservedly bad reputation, and can actually be fun once you find your mojo on it, I’m willing to concede that warm calls are most salespeople’s favorite.
Unlike cold calls, where you’re rolling up on someone who has no idea who you are, warm calls are pre-qualified to some degree, which means that the prospective client actually wants to meet you.
They usually come to you by way of your referral network. In fact, referrals are everything. When training other salespeople I tell them that referral business bought my house.
If you’ve been around for a while, and you do good work, many referrals are spontaneous. But they can be infrequent. So it’s not enough to handle business that comes your way on its own; sometimes you need to give it a nudge in your direction.
If you want more referrals you’ve got to ask for recommendations. You aren’t afraid to ask for the sale (at least, I hope you aren’t), so don’t be afraid to ask your established contacts to send business your way.
This probably goes without saying but if you want people to recommend you, you need to be worth recommending. Personally, I refer friends and acquaintances to businesses that I know are going to take care of them, and by extension, make me look good for pointing them in the right direction.
Bear that in mind. Just like you know when it’s an appropriate time to close a sale, you should have a good sense on who you can count on to send referrals your way.