Getting strong referrals!
You'll find that if you get recommended by someone your new lead trusts (or even simply knows), that prior relationship will have all but sealed the deal for you in some cases ever before you have even said a single word to the new prospect!
This is a fact that I have experienced quite a few times to the tune of almost $17,000 in closed deals I made without having to do ANY heavy lifting, spending a dime or using high tech strategies all in order to hear that oh so sweet word... "Deal!"
When a prospect says that word to you, you know you have the means to pay your bills or even splurge on something nice for yourself or the family so in many cases you will work your butt off to find leads, groom them, and close them because hearing the word "Deal!" is what the game of marketing and sales is all about.
But, I'm telling you now, all your worries about...
1) Lead generation
2) Getting/Closing good deals
3) Having to be able to rinse and repeat 1 and 2
...regardless if you talk on the phone, chat live online, email back and forth or meet in person... all those worries will end if you can master the art of getting STRONG REFERRALS.
Think about it from your point of view... how hard do you grill someone who was recommended to you by a very reliable source before you hand over some cash? If you're like me and most of the people I've done business with, you probably don't bother giving referred solutions providers the third degree because A) Someone you trust has already used them, likes them, trusts them or in one way or another has vouched for them simply by telling you to make sure to use them B) You don't like spending a ton of time researching anyone's background who is going to do some work for you, so you'd rather just piggy back on someone you trust's background checks and shake hands or hand over some money.
This really donned on me only today when I least expected to close ANY major deals today (Saturday is kind of a day off for me), and despite taking things relatively easy today, I bagged a deal of $1,000 for a site design + $7,500/yr in literally hands off, i.e. semi auto-pilot SMS marketing campaign management for one client that I would in all honesty probably NEVER have met no matter how great my prospecting is now, or even in the future.
Why did I say the latter? Well, as far as my limited 17 years in business and double that in life has taught me, there are just some people you might NEVER have met in your life if it wasn't that they knew someone you know or someone they know or someone they know and so forth.
Which leads me to what I think is one of the best pieces of advice I can share with you as a fellow offline-focused web consultant...
If you're going to bother spending time and money sourcing for leads, closing them and so on. Spend your time and money sourcing for leads that people you already know can connect you with perhaps because you have done a great job working for them or they simply would just love to give you the leg up for whatever reason.
There are several ways to make the art of getting strong referrals work for you...
1) Make friends with and influence people that are likely to be in the kinds of circles of influence you want to get referrals from.
2) If applicable, do a great job of delivering as promised to the people in 1 above
3) If the opportunity to do 2 above doesn't present itself, at least keep doing 1 and be sure to always leave a good trail behind you as much as possible whatever you do in your personal or business life.
4) USE linkedin and even facebook to your advantage in a savvy way... CONNECT online with the people in 1 and take your time to look through their online connections for people you would like to work with/for and then do what I'm certain most people DON'T do... ASK your friends in 1 above to recommend you or introduce you to some of the folks you've hand picked in their Linkedin, Facebook or other online/offline social circles!
That last step (4) is VITAL because sometimes, people know people who can help you, but unless you actually ASK, they either won't bother or won't remember to refer them to you or vice versa. So, as a savvy marketer you will already know that ASKING FOR THE SALE is an extremely vital part of your sales process, so remember to USE the same tactic when sourcing for serious referrals. Do your due diligence in getting connected in a favorable light with the right people for you and then don't be shy about ASKING them to connect you with people they know, but don't just stop at doing what most people already do, which is simply ASKING them to randomly select people they know to connect you with, you go ahead and do most of the work for them...
FIND OUT who they know, find out how good the connections they have with those people are, and then swoop in and get them to put you in touch with them for a cut in the deal or just because they wanna help you out.
Try these simple tactics and let me know in a year's time how it worked (or didn't work) for you.
Best of luck!