You`ve received some good information regarding the difference between an elevator speech and cold calling, but I`d like to point out an error mentioned by both qsoundrich and yourself--that to generate a large number of referrals requires an experienced salesperson with a large base of clients. That simply isn`t true. What is true is that most (about 85%) salespeople fail at referral selling. They`ll get a few names and phone numbers, but most are far from qualified referrals.
But all salespeople--even new salespeople with few clients--can learn how to generate a large number of high quality referrals from clients, prospects and known others.
One of the major issues is that many, many salespeople think getting referrals is simple--just do a good job and ask for referrals. Fact of the matter is--that method just doesn`t work. Generating referrals from clients and other is a whole process that starts the second you meet a prospect and continues throughout the sale--and long afterwards. If done correctly, it is far more effective than any other lead generation system there is.
This isn`t to say that you don`t use other lead generation methods. Few salespeople are referral only--the super mega-producers. But the way those superstars generate their business and the relationship they have with their client is far different than other salespeople`s. But their techniques and strategies can be learned and implemented.
The methods they use can be used by any salesperson, no matter their primary lead generation method. I work with salespeople involved in the most sophisticated sales process to those in the most direct and simple process. With those involved in highly complicated lead generation processs to those using the most simple, such as cold calling.
I`d encourage you to investigate the process of referral generation and incorporate it into your marketing mix. If done correctly, referral selling can add many, many thousands of dollars to your income in just a few months. Learning to referral sell isn`t easy--but it isn`t impossibly complicated either. Learn how to generate a large number of high quality referrals and combine that with your current prospecting methods and your income will increase significantly. I`ve seen new salespeople learn how to referral sell and shoot to the top of their organization`s performance charts in only matter of months.