How do you identify a great referral partner?

David Sims - Business Coach

David Sims – Business Coach

The number one reason you should use referrals to build your business is that you don’t have enough money to use traditional methods.  Why you ask?  Think about it.  You just saw record on-line sales and record sales in general for the day and the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Many people think that the economy is booming and things are turning around.  But not so fast.  The reason the sales were so high is that the retailers slashed their prices to move inventory.  That doesn’t mean they made any money.  Some even lost money.  It’s the “we need a bigger truck syndrome.”
If you don’t want to lose money on selling your products or services, you need to use referrals to generate the sales.  The reason.  One thing about the referral process is this, if you work the process correctly, you’ll be referred to people who’ll pay more for what you offer.  But you may say, “Hold the phone David, what about advertising on Group-on?” I can show you several businesses going broke using that kind of service because the the buying habits they attract.  The prospects that are attracted are only looking for the cheapest, one time offer.  If you want to build clients who stay with you for a long time the best way is using Referrals.  All other methods, (unless you can find someone who is good at writing copy and knows how to conduct a direct-mail campaign), have too much noise and are ineffective because you are using a “shot-gun” approach to try to brand you and your company and you just don’t have enough money in reserve to do that.
So how do you go about developing a good referral partner?  First, define the Ideal client you need to build a successful, profitable business.  Then you profile the kind of person who can refer you to those prospects.  What characteristics do you look for?
  1. Look for someone who is ambitious.  The reason you need someone ambitious is this, you want someone who is searching for a prospect to fit your description.
  2. You want to find someone who belongs to several organizations or is very involved in the community.  They have to have a lot of contacts to be able to find the kinds of  prospects you need.  Your attitude should be that you’re building a relationship to get referrals so you want someone who’s connected.
  3. You want to team up with someone who has a good product or service you feel comfortable referring to.  Then you work to find referrals for them.
  4. You want to find someone who feels referrals are important to building their business and is willing to invest “sweat equity” to make the relationship work.
  5. You then develop a relationship with them and meet at least monthly to work on the referral process.
  6. You reward them for their effort.  The easiest reward is for you to work to help them by giving them referrals.
 Does this sound like a lot of work?  It does.  That’s why only the top 5% of income earners do it.  You can take the easy way and buy a generic ad and hope it works.  Remember sales is the “easiest low-pay work” you can do.  Or it’s the “hardest high-pay work” you can do.  Think about this.  What if you have 6 people working to find referrals for you and finding Ideal prospects each month.  What kind of impact would it have on your business over the next 12 months?
It’s up to you.  The great thing about our country is that you can choose what to do.

Soar With The Eagles

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