Business Mentor tip #82 – How to save money attracting new clients without cold calling

October 16, 2012Post by Laura Humphreys

Another great sales tip from guest entrepreneur Mike Brunel

With the cost of acquiring new customers mounting, many companies’ customer bases are shrinking, due to loss of confidence of advertisers and consumers alike.

What you will learn in this month’s Sales tip is the secret to understanding the power of client’s referrals.

Referrals are often one way to get your additional sales without too much additional work.

Why ask for a referral?

  1. It cuts down your prospecting time – The traditional way to build new prospects is to cold call. With referrals it can basically eliminate cold calling forever.
  2. It builds trust – If you get a referral from a client you work with, then that is a signal to you that they trust you, they are prepared to put their faith in you with another friend or business acquaintance.
  3. Helps you build a network – The buzz word these days is networking, this may be true, but by creating a referral programme with your advertisers you have a built in network at your fingertips.

What is a referral?

A referral is when one of your existing advertisers provides the name and contact information of another advertiser. In my experience, and there are also studies to prove this, this is the one area that most sales people fall down in.

3 types of referrals

There are basically three simple referrals systems we use, I will outline what they are and then talk about how you can action one straight away, today.

  1. Direct Referrals
  2. Direct Endorsement
  3. Implied Endorsement/Referral


I am going to discuss direct referrals in this blog and touch on the other two in the near future.

A direct referral is a request to your clients to direct you to a potential client who they know that may also like your services. It’s an endorsement, a reference from a client to another friend or business. This is usually the most common form of referral and usually the easiest.

Most sales people and business people  understand this one – many use it sporadically and often by chance.


Here are 3 action steps to get a direct referral that will increase your call rate and closure rate very quickly.

  1. Choose your top 10 clients you want to target. In other words who are you going to ask for a referral?
  2. Set a time every day to go and ask those clients the following using these scripts as a guide

“I’m building up my client list and I wanted to get a referral from you. When we met last you said that you were pleased with my work. I’d really appreciate it if you’d pass my name along to anyone else you know who would be interested in _____________ (what you do). May I leave these extra business cards with you?”


“I’m really glad that you’re pleased with my work. I’m always looking for referrals and wonder if you know anyone else in your circle of business acquaintances who might be interested in marketing or promoting their business as well as I have for your business.”

TIP: Be specific with tying down the client’s area of influence. It’s no use asking a client something like “Is there anyone you know?” it’s too big a circle to think about. Get really specific.

With any scripts make them your own. George Clooney uses scripts but once he is familiar with the content he makes it his own.

3.  The final step is to create this system for your top 10 clients, businesses you deal with over a 30 day period. This will set a habit in place that will most certainly benefit you for the long term. Once you do that with your top ten, then move onto your next ten, and so on and so on.


It’s time to ACT: Here is what to do right now to get an immediate result. Call two clients and let them know that you will be coming to see them for a referral. Mentally visualise them giving you that referral. Write the goal in your diary or on your weekly planner.

Remind yourself every day that your goal to more sales and easier closing rates are referrals.

Is there anyone you know that would like to get more information on how to be a great media salesperson? Please feel free to refer them to

­­Good selling, Mike

Mike Brunel is a director of a number of companies both in New Zealand and worldwide which specialise in generating sales revenue for television newspaper and radio stations. NRS Media operates in over 65 markets throughout New Zealand, Australia, US, Canada and Europe. Their simple sales concepts have generated in excess of US$900 million. Mike is a phenomenal sales person, as well as a stimulating and relatable trainer. Contact him at Mike offers a limited private consultancy for selected clients. For more information contact

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.