How Can I Leverage My Current Network for 27 Minutes a Day to Get New Leads?

Generating new leads from the follow-up with our current and past clients needs to be a central part of our marketing plan.

I call this plan ‘Service Networking’. The plan is simple.

Make a personal call to all your current clients, just to check up on them. Mention that you are just calling to catch-up. Make some small talk and ask about how their family and friends are, and what they are up to right now. Keep the conversation light and informal. Be curious and show a genuine interest in their lives.

Then, move the call to a productive direction and tell them that you wanted to call them personally to see how they were doing right now and to find out how things have been since the sale. Ask what you can do to serve them right now because you are committed to service, and you want to do whatever you can to take care of them.

At this point, if they mention anything that they need help with, note it down and inform them that you are going to follow-up on this as soon as you get off the call, and you will call them back with an update as soon as you have some news to share with them.

If they do not mention anything, then simply reassure them that you are here to help them if they do think of something later.

Now, you can simply ask, “Hey (insert their name), who else do you know who would benefit from my product/service/solution?”

This is a direct open question. We didn’t ask, “Do you know anyone?” because it’s a closed Yes/No question and it’s also not direct.

Don’t mention any referral initiatives that you might have like, “If you refer someone, you will get 15% off your next order/we will give you £500.”

I believe that these initiatives just make you sound desperate. You want to sound confident on the call. Not like a hot mess who is trying to grab whatever lowest hanging fruit that they can reach.

Instead, if someone makes a referral and it turns into a sale, then there is no harm in finding a suitable way to show your appreciation. Sending them tickets to a sporting event or gig, giving them gift vouchers for their favourite restaurant or personalised gift baskets etc. are all great gifts to send them.

If you aim to keep the average length of the call to 9 minutes, which should be plenty of time if you stick to the script, then you can at least make 3 of these Service Networking calls in one day. Times that by 5 working days in a week, and you would have made 15 Service Networking calls by the end of the week. If each call results in just 1 new healthy lead, you will have gained 15 new healthy potential clients.

Not to mention the relationships that you would have reignited with clients who you might have lost touch with after the sale. Who knows, maybe just 1 of these Service Networking calls might land you 10, 20, even 50 healthy leads.

On the other hand, if you have a team or a sales department, you can ramp up the pace and allocate 54 minutes everyday for Service Networking calls. Everyone in your team or department should be able to make at least 6 of these calls in a day.

If you have hundreds or thousands of clients and you are the leader of a decent sized team, or if you are the CEO of your company and you have a sales department, then pass on the Service Networking plan to your team or sales department and give them the script as outlined above to follow during their service call.

However, I would recommend that you call your biggest and highest value clients personally. That’s the extra mile you can go to truly prove that you care, appreciate, and value them.

It is always important to generate new leads to fill the pipeline. However, during periods of contraction, like the one that we are going through right now post COVID-19 lockdown, it is critical that we generate new healthy leads.

I believe that the best thing is not to try and generate new cold leads, instead we need to follow the model of Service Networking to reach out to our current network, catch-up, reignite the relationships and serve them powerfully.

By leading with service on these calls, we can show them that we care, value, and appreciate them. We are taking the initiative to show-up and serve them with their current problems first, and then all we are doing is asking them if they know of anyone else who we can serve just as powerfully, if not more, as we have served them.

This is not sleazy, salesy, or manipulative. We are acting and showing them what it’s like to be in a relationship with us. What level of Care, Value and Service, which is the main message behind my book ‘TurboCharged Networking’, they can expect. We are showing them the level of high standards that we hold ourselves to. And we are showing them that we are proactive, can take the initiative and go the extra mile.

By following through with our service, we are providing them concrete proof that we are going to look after the people they know and care about, if they refer us to them.

Words are cheap and promises are fragile, but providing concrete proof of our service shows them that they can count on us to look after their network.

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