Depending on the culture of an organization, some people will never give out any names. You probably already know this and you probably already know how difficult it can make things, especially when you’re just starting out.
Manufacturing referrals is a process you can use, no matter what your business is, to get to who you really need to reach. Now, this is not universal but I would like to suggest that you can get a referral from just about everyone if you keep a couple of things in mind:
Know Who You Want to Reach
- Project/Program Managers: These are the folks who are responsible for getting the work done so the agency can meet initiatives associated with its mission.
- Procurement: These are the contracting officers and specialists that create opportunities, select the procurement mechanism and spend the money.
Now, if you’ve done your research right, you’ve already identified many of these people. The next step is to go after them.
Know Who They Know
Here’s a hypothetical example of how that conversation could go:
You can see where this is going.
BAM. Smack into a wall. Ordinarily this is where most folks give up.
But you’re prepared–you’ve already done your research, right?
Congratulations. You have just manufactured a referral to Sara and can not only honestly say that you talked with John and but also that he said she is important and one of the good folks. Because he did.
Does this mean Sara will listen? You bet she will. You are now one of the few who have broken through and talked with a key buyer for what you sell.