With the summer coming upon us – I feel the pull more than ever to be outside in the sun, don’t you? Well, one of the easiest ways to get more sun time is to collaborate by referring people to others and having them refer back to you.
When it comes to referral partners, the question I often get asked is:
“My referral partners aren’t referring! Now what do I do?”
I get this complaint all the time from my clients. The process of finding great referral partners can be hard to do if you don’t know a couple of key points. We do a whole class on referral partners in The Money Club, and here are some of the basic tips.
1. Not all referral partners are ready to refer.
Realize that if someone has just started her business, referring her clients to you might still be scary. She doesn’t have as many clients and may want to keep them to herself.
So be aware of when your referral partner started his/her business and what her attitudes toward referral are.
The best partners are usually going to be those that have been in business a while and have a secure and steady client load. They are in a place of being able to refer clients to you without being fearful of losing their own.
2. Communicate with your referral partner.
You must give your referral partners a script – a way to describe what you do to their clients. Have you ever noticed that when you don’t know how to pronounce someone’s name, you have a tendency to just not say it? It goes like that with everything. If your referral partner doesn’t have a snappy way to describe you, chances are that she won’t talk about you at all.
Sometimes it helps to give your partner a sheet of paper with your description of you and your programs so that she has a cheat sheet when she needs to talk about you.
3. Let them try you out.
When I ran my health coaching business, I used to insist that all new referral partners had a nutrition session with me. That way they could truly understand the way in which I worked with clients.
Once my referral partner did a session with me, referrals came so much faster because she had experienced working with me.
4. Be Creative.
There are so many ways you could work with a referral partner. For example a yoga studio could give away a free session with you every time a new member signed up.
Or you could get together with a yoga teacher from the center and do a workshop together.
Or you could simply leave your postcards at the yoga studio.
There are lots of ways to work with a referral partner beyond just getting referrals – be creative and experiment until you find ways that work well for both of you.
As you can see – when used in the right way, referral partners can be a great source of business for you. Just remember the tips above to make it all easier.
And, as always, if you have questions about referral partners, post in the comments below. I’d love to help. Now go and enjoy the sun!
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