Products, Referrals and Knowledge

By Mike Philie
In September 30, 2012

The email arrives and great news, a prospect that you have been engaged with has referred a colleague to you. The product that this new contact is looking for however really doesn’t fit your capabilities. In fact, on it’s own you might outsource the project or just let them know that it doesn’t fit and pass on the opportunity. The initial plan was to get a outsourced price for the job, send it to them quickly (to show how responsive they are) and then call to follow up afterwards.

The main issue is that you really don’t know what this person does, what their role is or scope of responsibilities. One option could be to do some research, ask your main contact for additional details or contact the referral, introduce yourself and ask them what they do before doing anything with the estimate request.

This happened recently and when the rep contacted the referral she got some great information. Turns out the scope of their product needs was right up her alley and better yet they were looking for a new supplier. With this additional information the company is moving forward in getting a price and will do everything they can to help win this new account.

The lesson learned is while we all need to be responsive to client inquiries, make sure you understand what the opportunity really is. Is it an opportunity to provide a price or an opportunity to build a major new client.

Mike Philie

Mike works with printing companies that are not satisfied with their sales and business development performance, and are looking to get objective advice and strategic direction on how to improve the results of their business. His engagements can range from providing input on the overall sales strategy to building business development pipelines while training the processes of “selling” in today’s marketplace. Mike quickly establishes himself as a trusted resource and advisor to the owners and senior staff of his client companies through his personal involvement, and very quietly and effectively becomes an extension of their staff.

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