I have heard many people introduce their business partners, or refer people in the most awkward and counterproductive ways. To build a powerful referral partnership you have to coach prospective referrers on how to present you and your business. Please consider the following as you develop referral partnerships:
- FIRST, Explore Mutual Interest: Start by making sure that both parties have something at stake
- Prepare The Introductions: Offer materials that describe you, your tag line, and your services. It’s easy on the person who offers a referral, AND you also insure that your purpose and business proposition are clearly stated every time!
- Explain What You Need: describe in detail the kind of clients, and the kind of deals you are looking for
- HEAR What the Other Needs: this is absolutely essential since we are all excited about asking, and rarely stop to hear the needs around us
- Explain the Rewards You Offer: put together a comprehensive rewards system that is easy to understand, appealing and easy to act on
- Help Connect People as Often as Possible: and do it without expectations, simply because you can and because you care. It so happens that this is the perfect way to get people to care about you, too.
A lot of people are willing to help, yet the way they perceive your business, or your business need, may be completely skewed, and so, they might send a lot of unqualified leads your way. It’s a waste of time on both parts.
TO DO: Call on a possible referral source and offer to get together and learn how you can help. If appropriate, ask them to refer clients to you!