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One Idea to Set More Appointments By Bill Cates

Referrals aren’t the end game are they? They are a means to the end – a new client or customer. Are you going beyond referrals? Are you turning your referrals into introductions? Are you converting those introductions into appointments that stick? And are you opening new relationships with new clients or customers from referrals?

In this post, I’ll examine one simple thing you can do to secure more appointments with prospects – whether or not they come through a referral.

The Power of Specialization…

One way to stand out as you approach new prospects (via phone, email and LinkedIn) is to present yourself as an “expert” or “specialist” in your field or in their industry, or both.

Whether you’re B2B or B2C, people usually want to work with “the best.” They want to work with people who are experts in their field. This supports the emotional part of the buying decision to “feel good” about their decision. “specialist.” It positions you as an expert. People want to work with the best and “specialist” implies that you’re more experienced in this particular field than others. Ultimately, it shows that the prospect has a low risk when choosing to work with you.

When you define yourself as an expert, this also tends to focus your sales efforts. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, your sales success actually increases as you narrow your area of expertise.

Use your expertise in your opening statement. For example, if you were to call me, you’d have a much better chance of grabbing my attention if you said something like, “We specialize in working with thought leaders such as yourself. We’ve worked with several other members of your industry association.” Now I know this person – most likely – has more context about by business than a generalist.

Two Ways to Look at Specialization…

You can be an “expert” in your product/service area (as I am in the area of client acquisition through referrals) or you can be an expert in your target industry. Or both! You can also have more than one target industry.

Says, Dirk Zeller, author of Telephone Sales For Dummies writes, “When you’re positioning yourself or your company as a specialist in an area, it doesn’t mean you can’t offer other products or services outside your defined expertise. You can always recommend an alternative if the prospect doesn’t want your specialized offer. But when you sell your best first, you increase the odds of opening up a strong and long-lasting relationship.”

And Here’s the Kicker…

When your prospects – who later become clients – view you as an expert of specialist, they refer to you as such when they talk to others. Being an expert doesn’t just help you make the sale, it helps create more, high-level referrals.

* Excerpted from Bill’s newest book, Beyond Referrals)
To receive Bill Cates’ weekly tips on sales and referral ideas and strategies, go to: www.ReferralMinute.com. And check out his blog loaded with great ideas to help you find more prospects and convert them into clients: www.ClearingSalesHurdles.com.

-What was your biggest takeaway lesson you learned from the ideas above? Share your thoughts in the comments.