Knowing what to say makes all the difference when you’re asking for what you really want. It boosts your confidence once you’ve practiced it a few times and it starts to sound like something you would say.
I repeat: wording is useless unless you practice it - preferably with someone else so you can hear yourself or at least run through it in your head or out loud when you’re alone or walking the dog etc. (I used to do this but my beloved pooch is gone now). And you do it until it flows naturally.
While scripts usually make us cringe at first, remember that for your entire life you’ve spent a lot of money and endless hours being convinced and entertained by people reading scripts on television, on stage and in films. Now it’s your turn to take some wording and make it fluent so you can get more of what you want! And yes you do deserve it, dammit!
Step 1: Earned – have you earned the right to ask?
Step 2: Who – who do you want to be introduced to?
Step 3: How – does your referral source know how to introduce you effectively?
Step 4: Control – keep control over the process
AND preceding it you probably need something to say to transition the conversation away from whatever you’re talking to the other person about and onto what you want to ask for.
Transition comment: I know we need to wrap up in a few minutes. Before you go, there are a couple of things I wanted to ask you about.
Step 1 EARNED: Firstly, what did you find most useful about our time together today?
I really appreciate that feedback.
Step 2 WHO: Earlier on you mentioned (Person A)
I work with quite a lot of people like him/her…(or: companies like that)
Step 3 HOW: How would you be most comfortable introducing me to her/him?
(Maybe they have a good idea)
Step 4 CONTROL: When should I get back to you to see if s/he would like me to get in touch?”
It doesn't need to be more complicated than that.
Really important qualifiers to the above:
1. Step 1 (earning it) is something you often only calculate in your head. You don’t need feedback from someone you already sense you get along well with.
If you think you’ve ‘earned’ it already and there is enough water in the well in the relationship, you don’t need to say anything for Step 1. Go from Transition statement to Step 2.
2. What if you don’t know who to ask for in Step 2? Read this.
3. People who get a lot of referrals increasingly expect others to come through. (And this is human psychology not exclusive to referrals: if you treat people with high expectations, they are far more likely to live up to those expectations.)
4. Is there more to this subject? Yes. Effective communication is a lot than just the words we use. There’s all the non-verbal communication such as eye contact, tone of voice, body language and gestures. Also sometimes there’s unhelpful self-talk taking us off track.
What can you do?
a) Repeatedly remind yourself that your goal is to HELP people, not sell them something useless they don’t want or need.
b) Practice your wording because the more you make it your own, the more comfortable you will feel – and others can often pick up on that. When you’re uncomfortable, there’s a good chance you’ll make others uncomfortable too.
5. Are there multiple variations on how to phrase all of these steps? Absolutely. Happy to share more on that too.
Useful? To learn more about my online training program and referral coaching, click here!
Copyright Matt Anderson, 2017