I love it when a situation is so unbelievable I can just whip out a quick post!
As we all know, a referral is the best way to get new business or make a sale, so you can imagine my excitement when I get an email that says, "Meet Honoree. You need her." Just such a thing happened a couple of weeks ago from someone I adore and respect, and the email led to a scheduled phone call to discuss the possibilities. What happened next was shocking, and I fear all too common.
I sent a confirmation email the day before, no response. Time for the call on Friday at 3 pm, I left a message (at both phone numbers). Monday afternoon, I receive an email saying, "I'm not interested, but attached is my CV (curriculum vitae ... a fancy term for resume) and an overview of my services. I'd love it if you'd refer people to me. Oh, and sorry for missing the call. I got busy."
Oh my goodness. Really???
Let's go back to the best way to get business: via referral. Referrals come from people you have relationships with. I clearly did not have a relationship with the person, and my experience of him was that he was rude and unreliable. (Anyone want to meet him? He's a financial adviser.)
No matter how much you want to ask for new business, never ask until you have a solid relationship with someone (or they offer to help). Even better, wait until they're so impressed with you they can't help themselves ... they are shouting your name from rooftops everywhere.