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Questions for Sharon Michaels

I don’t want to be pushy, so how do I ask for referrals?
Pauline, NY

Answer: I believe referrals are an important business-building tool. There is nothing pushy about asking former customers/clients, current customers/clients and your network of associates to refer the people they know to you.

Here are a few suggestions:
1. Email your customer/client clients and let them know that you are accepting new customers/clients or have a product to offer and that you would appreciate if they would forward this email to those people they know that may be interested.

2. Email everyone you know that you are having a contest. You are offering an incentive or prize for each new referral that turns into new business. You fill in the blank for the incentive (a product, a gift card, etc.).

3. Call your network personally and let them know that you are open to new referral and would appreciate their support.

I am a big believer that you get what you ask for
– if you believe can provide great service or have a great product, then ask for the referral. It is not pushy to let others know you are available for more business.


Why won’t prospects return my calls?
MaryAnne, CA

Answer: The “gold” is in the follow up. It is hard to pan the gold when no one returns your calls or answers your emails.

Here are a few suggestions:
1. Offer an incentive to prospects for answering your follow up call or keeping a follow up appointment – a sample, a discount etc.

2. Schedule a specific day and a time for your follow up appointment – don’t just say “I’ll give you a call.” Make sure your prospects know that you value their feedback and your main objective for connecting with them is their opinion and feedback.

3. Let prospects know that as a condition for giving them a sample, a CD, a book, etc. you’ll need to set up a follow up appointment. If they aren’t serious about setting up an appointment, they probably aren’t serious about what you are offering.

4. Send a reminder email before your follow up phone call or appointment. It is a busy world and people do forget.

5. Try to reach your prospect three – four times on three or four different days and if they do not return your calls, say to yourself “Next.”

Prospects are often reluctant to follow up because they are fearful you may try to “hard sell” them something they cannot afford or don’t need. If you assure prospects that hard selling is not your intent, you’ll probably have a higher percentage of actual follow up appointments.
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