Now that your client has provided you with a referral and you have contacted that prospect in a way that is compliant with federal laws, you must still be careful in the way you interact with that potential client. Keep in mind that this is a process that will be scrutinized by both your existing client and the referred individual.
“You don’t want to spoil a potential relationship with a prospect,” says Sara Gilbert, founder of Strategist in Montreal. “And you don’t want to hurt the relationship with your client.”
Here are three suggestions to ensure that you contact a referral in a professional way:
1. Be timely
Aim for initial contact within two to three days of receiving the referral, Gilbert says. Don’t play a waiting game. Within a week or two of that first phone call, you should work to have a meeting scheduled.
Always keep in mind that the referred person is likely to be in regular contact with your client. If your referral is stuck waiting for you to get in touch, he or she might inform your client. This will not leave a positive impression on either person.
2. Don’t get pushy
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, which governs electronic communication for business purposes, permits only one email to a prospect. Even if the law did allow for more, you do not want to annoy the referral, who may tell your client.
So, whether you are sending out that first email or you are following up with a phone call that the referral has agreed to, it is up to the other person to get back in touch if there is no initial response.
3. Keep your client informed of your progress
It is a good idea to let the client who made the referral know that you have been in touch with the referred individual. This tells your client that you appreciated his or her gesture enough to contact the person within a reasonable amount of time. It also provides another opportunity for you to thank your client directly, Gilbert says, which is always important.
This is the third part in a three-part series on referrals.
If you have set up a meeting with the referral, you can inform your client, without going into detail about what you plan to discuss with the referral.
On the other hand, Gilbert says, if you have attempted to contact the referral but have not heard back, you can tell your client about your efforts. You can mention that you’ve left a message and you will wait for them to return the communication.
This indicates to the client that you followed through on your end but that you will respectfully wait for the referred individual to get back to you.