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How to use a business advisor referral to close your next deal

The new wave of relationship selling is here, and it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the cold calls buyers have begun to tune out. So, how can you use relationships to maximize the potential of a lead becoming a closed deal?

One interesting avenue is to leverage your business’s advisors to generate introductions to new leads. Undoubtedly, you’ve already benefited from an advisor’s knowledge in their field of expertise, but how about their invaluable network of connections? Here’s a primer on all things advisor relationships, and how to leverage their network for your next referral intro:

What do business advisors do?

Advisors play a pivotal role in the success and growth of a business, and should essentially be thought of as external collaborators. These seasoned vets bring a wealth of experience, insights, and industry knowledge to the table, helping startups and legacy companies alike navigate the challenging landscape of entrepreneurship. 

Business advisors often serve as stewards, providing crucial advice and feedback that can reduce the learning curve for founders. Advisors offer a broader perspective and can identify potential pitfalls, allowing businesses to proactively address challenges and make informed choices.

Advisors to a business have long served multiple purposes: 

  • Expertise: They are experts in a specific field, such as the industry you are breaking into, or a specific niche business area you need help with. They act as a sounding board for ideas, offering constructive criticism and insights that can refine a business's value proposition and positioning in the market. 
  • Mentorship: Their business acumen assists you in the overall formation, organization, and strategy of your company. Their guidance can be instrumental in making critical decisions, from refining business strategies to finding the right market fit and scaling operations efficiently.
  • Connections: They have a vast network of contacts you can tap into to facilitate collaborations that might otherwise be out of reach for new businesses. 

What are the benefits of advisor referrals?

So when you’re looking for your next intro to a new company or prospect, it might be time to tap into your advisors’ network. Advisor referrals offer several key benefits for sales prospects, allowing you to:

  • Skip the cold outreach: By getting your advisor to make the intro to you, they have essentially already “vouched” for your product, thus the lead will be more engaged at the outset due to your mutual connection. 
  • Start with higher quality leads: Leads from an advisor tend to be decision makers at the company. These connections can help influence the procurement teams, even if they’re not the buyer themselves.
  • Reduce your sales cycle: Referrals tend to shorten the sales cycle because there's already an element of trust and pre-vetted evaluation that they are a good fit for your offering, making it easier to move from the initial contact to closing a deal.
  • Build a bigger community of leads: Referrals contribute to building a strong professional network and community. As your advisor introduces you to their connections, it expands your reach and potential for future collaborations and sales deals.

How to ask for a referral from an advisor?

It can feel intimidating to ask a business advisor to tap into their own network on your behalf. Pro tip: don’t start from scratch. If you’re using Hifive, you are able to access a ready made template that you can customize yourself. Then, it’s as simple as clicking a “Request intro” button. Here’s how:

  1. Once you’ve installed Hifive, use LinkedIn sales navigator to filter through the connections of one of your business advisors, as it will surface people with expertise in a specific field or from a specific company. 
  2. After you’ve narrowed down to the individual to whom you’d like a connection, click the purple “Request Intro” Hifive button.
  3. Craft or tweak the suggested message about the person you’re requesting an introduction from your advisor. Here are some key things to keep in mind to help make this introduction even more compelling:
    1. Highlight Mutual Benefits: Emphasize how the referral would be mutually beneficial, both for your business and the person or organization you're seeking the referral to.
    2. Request Guidance: Ask if your advisor has any advice on how to approach potential referrals or if they can make an introduction directly.
    3. Follow Up: Regardless of their response, always follow up with a thank-you message to maintain a positive and professional relationship.
  4. Make it easy for your advisor by customizing a message for them to pass along to the prospect you’re looking to meet.

When the prospect gives the green light to the introduction, both of you will get an email connecting you. Thanks to Hifive’s double-opt-in system, you can be confident that you're reaching out to someone genuinely interested in what you have to say. Now, it's all in your hands! 

Asking for what seems like a favor from an advisor to your business can seem intimidating at first. But think of it this way: your advisor is invested in your success, thus if they think it’s the right fit, a sales intro is a natural and easy way for them to contribute. With an effective business advisor you don’t just gain critical insights and strategy, you should also be leveraging their vast and relevant network for your next prospect.

Posted November 6, 2023