Create New Prospect Channels

6 Min

In the Sandler Selling System, you rank prospecting activities in order of effectiveness, not comfortability.

Go wherever your prospects are

and build a channel.

In addition to cold calls, there are many ways to meet new people and build new prospect channels:

Network and build strategic alliances


At networking events you should talk to anyone. At Sandler, we call this the “3-foot rule.” If someone is within your reach, introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. Networking events give you proximity to more people than you might normally have. Maybe the person you’re talking to won’t be a prospect, but they could be a referral source.

Note: the 3-foot rule is great for building up your network at any social gathering.

Hot referrals with personal introductions are the most likely leads to close quickly and easily.

Prospect through social selling

Think of social networks as the world’s largest networking event. You can use these online platforms to share information about yourself to the world, but you can also get proactive about building new prospecting channels. You can cold message suspects, research prospects, and most importantly, ask for referrals to specific prospects from your list of connections.

For example, Send a message like

“I noticed that you’re connected to a Pamela Nixon. I think she may be interested in our products, but I am not sure. Can you give us a quick introduction over email so I can find out?”

Build strategic alliances

Maybe the person you’re talking to won’t be a prospect, but they could be a referral source. Similarly, building strategic alliances, or a non-competitive, two-way referral partnership, creates channels for warm and hot referrals.

Ask for referrals and introductions

A warm referral is from a referral source who is willing to let you use their name. This can take the psychological pressure off of reaching out cold. Ask for what you need from your existing relationships. You can ask anyone for an introduction: clients, friends, vendors, and even disqualified prospects.

Up your chances of landing an appointment and a sale by asking for a referral.

Let’s practice.

Joneric is a financial planner looking for prospects. What’s the ONE thing Joneric should do to build new prospecting channels at an upcoming network event?

Quiz 1 of 1

What’s the ONE thing Joneric should do to build new prospecting channels at this event?

a
Hand his business card to everyone he sees.
b
Start conversations with the people he comes across at the event.
c
Make his name public on the attendee list.
d
Ask people to “follow” him on social media.

The answer is B: Start conversations with the people he comes across at the event. 


Joneric will be more likely to get new contacts, get a referral, or build a strategic alliance by introducing himself to other attendees.

Take the next step:

Practice the 3-foot rule wherever you go today.

Lesson complete