A recent NY Times bestseller had this title and if you Google this title, you get hundreds of references to this idea. Why? No sales people want to “Cold Call”, it is unnatural to call a stranger and ask them to give you money.However, cold calling is a necessary evil. No matter what you’re selling, you eventually run out of friends and family. So how do we avoid cold calling? The movie industry has popularized cold calling with movies like Glengarry Glen Ross and Pursuit of Happyness. The best answer to no more cold calling is the effective use of referrals. The key word here is “effective”.So here’s my system for always having referrals. I assume everyone at this point wants more referrals. So, first set a goal for referrals. Your goals are like house plans. You don’t start building without plans. Perhaps your goal is one new referral a week, perhaps 10 per week, or one per month. Whatever it is, write it down and share it with someone who will hold you accountable.Next, get your script for asking for referrals. People tell me they can’t get referrals. Usually it breaks down based on the way they ask. After a few failures, they quit asking. Here’s how I ask, “Bill, the best way for me to build my business is by having my current customers recommend people they know for me to call on. Is there anybody that comes to mind that I should be calling on?”If they give me a referral, I am ecstatic. I don’t expect one on the first ask. Most of the time they say, “Let me think about it.” My response is “Great! I really appreciate your help.” I don’t stop there. Depending on my product or service I might say without pause, “Are there any of your current suppliers (vendors) that I should reach out to?” Then I listen. Still no referrals I say, “How about any of your customers?” Then I listen. Still no referrals I say, “How about someone you socialize with (golf, tennis, charities, etc.). Still no referrals I say, “Bill, are you the only person you know who would use my service (or product)?” then laugh!Now I listen. He’ll give me an objection and I answer it. The objection is usually “I am uncomfortable giving referrals” or “I just don’t know my friends or customers situation”. Whatever it is, I have a scripted answer. It always starts with “I know how you feel, other customers I’ve asked have said the same thing before they gave me referrals. Here’s what they found…” then I relieve their fears or doubts.Getting referrals is just like selling. You should expect objections and be prepared to answer them. My answer to the above objection is this, after I’ve harmonized with the objection I say “Jack Smith said the same thing, what he found was that I was not a pushy, high pressure salesman and that I would be respectful of his relationship with anyone he referred me to. If you don’t think I’ve done a good job for you, then please don’t give me any referrals. If you do, could we start with someone you do business with? How about your coffee vendor, paper vendor, maintenance vendor, etc.”Lastly, make a commitment to ask every customer for a referral and do it repeatedly. Some will, some won’t but the law of averages will make you a winner. Remember two brothers follow each other everywhere in selling, See More and Sell More.