What is a referral partner? This so important, especially if you have a service based business. Since social media is about relationships, referral partners are a perfect fit.
What is a referral partner? It’s a great avenue to get more sales for your business. As you get sales you can develop that customer into a referral partner. Without a system in place to keep track of your referral partners you can suddenly find yourself in having dry spells in sales.
Why does this happen?
We are so busy servicing our current clients either from our referral partners or someone we’ve gotten our referrals or clients from, that you haven’t thought about having a game plan.
Referral partners need to be nurtured as well as our sales team/customers (if you have a sales team). If you don’t have any other sales teams, then I would certainly use referral partners. This is great for small business owners.
What is a referral partner?
A referral partnership is a conscious relationship – in other words the referring partner needs to listen and be aware of who your clients are, if they are networking. Before they refer you to people.
Who should they be?
First of all it has to be a partner who is willing to refer.
For example, I was working with an insurance guy. He was very personable, I liked him, he liked me. I would quite often refer people to Earl who were looking for insurance and benefits for their business.
As time went along, He got me some business cards with my name on them, which I didn’t want. I said “I would try this.”
The problem I ran into was that I felt that I was his sales rep and found myself in an uncomfortable place with him. This is were our relationship changed. Yes, did refer business to him, I just didn’t want to do the follow-up after the referring.
When you ask your referral partner to do the extra work, this is no longer just a referral partner, you have made them into a sales member of your team.
You need to be clear of your expectations of what kind of relationship you want with your referral partners and what they are willing to do for you.
Here are some qualifiers that you may want to determine to add to your referral group or partner:
- Have you figured out who your customer are”
- Do they have the same values as you?
- Do they do what they say will?
- Have you given them the kind of referrals you are looking for?
- What matters to the both of you?
- Do they share referrals with you?
- They are professional and you feel comfortable in letting them serve your clients or people you have referred them to?
- They are easily accessible
If you don’t know what makes your customers tic, how can you serve your customers well? Or how can you expect your referral partners to serve them well too? You’ll discover that people will expect you to deliver a product or service that you don’t want to do, aren’t able to do.
Your relationships won’t be successful and you’ll find lots of challenges within that relationship. Just like my example I gave about Earl and I.
Simply, because it’s not a match, it’s because you and the other person just don’t tic.(It would of been a match if he didn’t want me to do the follow-up work, like in a sales position.)
Are your ready to know who your customers are and what makes them tic?
I offer a workshop all about this.. stay tuned..check out
After doing a workshop with me, Michelle’s learned:
“Her prospective customers wanted an opportunity to buy their own business within a structure, like what a Franchise offers. Michelle was able to narrow it down to the prospects profile and only accepted who met her profile or matched her client profile.”
She was very happy that she discovered this. It made her customers easy to find and made more sales. Thus, she was also able to figure out how to get referrals.
What is a referral partner is and what kind of customers you want, it will be easier to ask people to refer to you. The same goes for them. Be clear of what you expect.
Until next time, follow me on LinkedIn