Let's start with some deductive reasoning:

  • As a producer, writing new business is your primary goal.

  • Writing new business means you must get in front of qualifiedcandidates.

  • You can't get in front of qualified candidates if you don'tspend time prospecting.

  • But, the more time you spend searching for prospects, the less time you haveto spend with active prospects and clients.

  • Bottom line, it isn't enough to just spend time prospecting, youhave to be efficient with that time.

There is no more efficient way to feed your pipeline than withtargeted introductions from your best clients. Period.

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Yet, almost every producer I talk to admits to not proactivelyasking their clients for those introductions. There are only threepossible reasons:

  • You don't do a good enough job to have earned the privilege(rarely the case).

  • Your clients don't like you enough to do you a favor (even morerare).

  • You are afraid and/or don't know how (by far, the most commonreason, but also easily fixed).

I’m not going to get into any detail on the first twopoints.

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1. If you haven't done a good enough job, you have bigger issuesto deal with than new referrals.

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2. If you don't think your clients like you enough, channel yourinner Stuart Smalley: You’re good enough. You’re smartenough. And, doggone it, your clients like you.

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Now, for the other 98 percent who are doing a good enough joband who have clients who appreciate you for the job you do, it'stime to face your irrational fear. If you won't face it foryourself, face it for the benefit of the very clients you areavoiding.

Stronger relationships; higher close ratios

Targeted referrals from your best clients to their strongestrelationships are the highest quality opportunities you can put inyour pipeline. They will be larger in size and have a higher closeratio. You will hit your sales goal in the most efficient mannerpossible.

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By not asking your clients for targeted introductions, you makethe job of prospecting more difficult. Without trustedintroductions:

  • You’ll face more “no thank yous” when prospecting, adding toyour prospecting time.

  • You will end up working on smaller accounts, which means youneed to spend even more time prospecting to increase the quantityand make up for the lower quality.

  • Your conversion/close ratios will be lower, adding to time spentprospecting.

Not only does all this additional prospecting time come with ahuge “suck factor,” you are stealing this time from your existingclients. This additional time spent prospecting is time yourclients no longer have access to your attention. It drasticallyreduces the time you have available to help address theirchallenges and problems. They are now getting less value from theirrelationship with you.

What have we learned?

1. You have earned the privilege of asking forintroductions.

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2. You’re good enough, smart enough, and likeable enough.

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3. You’re no longer the coward you were 500 or so words ago.

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Game on!

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