How To Create Strategic Referral Sources and Referral Partnerships

Are referrals the life blood of your business?  Often times when I am consulting with businesses about referral marketing strategies they tell me that referrals are the top way they receive new customers.  When I follow up with follow-up-referrals-man-bull-hornmore questions about how they generate referrals I am shocked to discover many of these same businesses have no referral strategy in place.  The referrals they receive happen by chance and they have no system to encourage or increase referrals coming into their business.

If you are one of these companies that rely on new referral business you might consider creating strategic referral sources.  Strategic referral sources or referral partners are designed to create referral relationships where you and your partnering business give referrals to each other.  This may be a business in or out of your industry.  Here are a few examples:

  • Business attorneys referring Family Attorneys or Estate Planning Attorneys
  • CPA’s referring Bookkeepers
  • Dentists referring Family Photographers
  • Marketing Firms referring Social Media Firms
  • Insurance Brokers referring Financial  Planners

When meeting with possible referral sources it’s important to learn as much as you can to start the referral process.  Here are six questions you can ask your potential referral partners to insure success:

  1. Can you give me an example of your ideal client or customer?
  2. Please explain your biggest challenge in your business.
  3. Who is your best referral partner?
  4. What makes you or your company different from your competitors?
  5. Are you on Social Media?  Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter?  (make sure you connect with them)
  6. Is there anything more you would like to tell me about you or your company that might help me give you a referral?

At this point you should have everything you need to start referring this person or business.  I find the fastest way to start receiving referrals from a new referral source is to give them referrals as soon as possible.  I make it a point to seek out opportunities for them as I know the more business they receive from my network the more committed they will be to referring my business.

If you start creating referral partners as strategy you are guaranteed to grow your referral business!

Savoring the Investment IN a Relationship

This morning I was up very early and decided I wanted a cup of coffee. My first thought was to take a quick shower, grab my laptop, and head over to my local Starbucks. As I was getting out of bed I realized I wanted something different… I really just wanted to enjoy a cup of coffee outside in the cool morning air. Some of you reading this may know I am a goal oriented, multi tasking, crazy scheduled, always going in multiple directions type of person so getting ready and starting my day running is pretty normal for me.

Something about this morning, at this moment was a bit different… I was looking for a different approach or a different experience this morning. It hit me… where is that French Press that I used to love making coffee with? As I entered my kitchen in search for my lost press I started to remember why I love it! Boiling the water, grinding the coffee, pouring the hot water over the coffee, letting it sit for a few minutes, finally pressing the plunger down to pour my perfect cup of coffee. Sitting outside I realized why I love this process so much.

So what the heck does this have to do with followup and why would I post my morning coffee experience here? Well as I was sipping my coffee listening to the morning sounds I realized how the process of my morning cup of coffee is very similar to the process of followup. It’s not always about the quick cup of coffee or the quick meeting of a new prospect. It’s about the process! When I take the time to really get to know a person, learning about them and their business, I get to enjoy the result.

Following up and building relationships is just like making the perfect cup of coffee. When we take the time and go through the entire process we can enjoy the result.

Tomorrow is the start to a brand new week. I might just start with another perfect cup of coffee.