"I don't know who you are.
I don't know your company.
I don't know your company's product.
I don't know what your company stands for.
I don't know your company's customers.
I don't know your company's record.
I don't know your company's reputation.
Now – what was it you wanted to sell me?"
                                              

I've always thought this ad by McGraw Hill is an incredible insight into the internal dialogue of our prospective clients and customers. I probably don't need to tell you that the hardest and most expensive way to attract new clients or customers is to try and sell them something cold – ie. when they have no idea who we are.

A much more effective strategy is find a referral partner who is already dealing with your target market, and leverage from their many years of building relationships with their clients. This works because of a really powerful concept called 'Trust Transference'.

So why doesn't everyone do it? Well because referral relationships can be slow and difficult to build, and you've probably even tried before with no or very little success.

And that may be because you didn't know the rules... You see there are 5 rules you MUST (yep I'm shouting) get right if you want a successful referral partnership. Master all 5 and your business will absolutely explode with referral opportunities. However... Get just 1 wrong and it's all over.


Rule # 1: NEVER make your referral partner look bad...

This is the greatest fear of your referral partner, and if you break this rule it's sudden-death to the alliance. You need to make sure you're someone that your referral partner can be comfortable referring.

And I'm not talking here about being good at what you do, your referral partner wants to be sure:

•       You will look after their clients.

•       You will stick to your time-frames.

•       You will turn up.

•       You will communicate.

•       You will be consistent and reliable.

Of course, the good news here is that if you know their greatest fear is that you'll make them look bad, then ipso facto you also know their greatest aspiration – to look good!!

 

Rule # 2: Be Choosey!

Just because someone has a heartbeat and is 'willing' to be a referral partner, doesn't automatically make them a good fit for you and your business. In fact, choosing the wrong type of partner can turn a referral gold mine into a referral land mine.

Be sure that they:

·         Have strong working relationships with your exact target market.

·         Share your ethics and values.

·         Do a great job.

·         Have a mentality of abundance.

·         Want to grow their business.

·         Are professional.

·         Are likeable.

·         Are easy to work with.

 

Rule # 3: Make it Super Easy

In fact, you can't possibly make it too easy...

At the end of the day, you don't want to ask someone to be a referral partner and then make them do the work!

It's up to you to provide all the resources, tools, and templates.

And of course the more smooth and effortless it is for them, the more valuable you become, and you can end up becoming an indispensable part of their business.


Rule # 4: Communicate with them frequently.

If you're not prepared to do this – DON'T BOTHER EVEN STARTING...

You need to regularly let your referral partner know what's going on - remember it was their client/customer first).

You should also check in to see how they're going and if you can help make things easier (for them to refer clients to you).

 

Rule # 5: Referral partnerships need to be system driven

This not only makes it easier for you, but gives your referral partner confidence in your ability to look after their precious clients.

If you don't have the systems in place and ready to go, then it will just speed up the rate at which people find out you're not a good alliance partner.

So there you have it, the 5 rules to ensure successful referral partnerships. Get them right and it will make your life easier and your profits soar!!

Would you like some help identifying a valuable referral partner for your business, and put in place a system to approach and get them referring you FAST? Then click here to book in for a 90 minute 'Referrals Accelerator' Strategy Session. It's a one-on-one session with me, and it will move you from just thinking about how good a referral strategy would be for your business, to actually DOING IT.

The cost of the session is usually $495, but if you mention this blog post we'll give you a whopping 50% discount. How's that for an incentive to take action?

Stay fabulous,

Caren