Trying to be everything to everyone is not the best way to grow your business. If you want growth, one of the most tried-and-tested ways is through referral partnerships.
But you also need to remember that in order for referral relationships to work, you can’t just sign a referral agreement document and then let it sit on the bottom draw. It’s never a quick process. You have to nurture this relationship so that it builds over time and generate qualified leads for your business.
In this new 2 Minutes On series titled How to Make Referral Relationships Work, you will learn the eight things that really make a difference in a referral relationship.
Navigate seamlessly through the rest of the series by clicking on one of the links below.
- Part 1 – Why Do Relationships Fail?
- Part 2 – Re-Engineer Your Business Processes and Get the Top 5
- Part 3 – Create a Combined Value Proposition, Systemise, and Make It Easy
- Part 4 – Qualify More, Add Value, and Commit
Here’s Jeff Cooper to tell you more about the importance of qualifying more leads, finding a way for your partners to add value to your clients, and committing to nurture the relationship.
The following text is a transcript of the video.
Send and Qualify More than You Receive
This is a really big one. They say that you should give to receive, and it’s so true with referrals.
If you’re sending a lot over, and if they’re very qualified and well-matched for your partner, you can bet your bottom dollar that sooner or later, they’re going to acknowledge you, thank you, and even send some referrals back. And even if over the first two or three months, you’re sending a lot more their way, that’s a really good thing. That’s a show of a healthy relationship.
And you know what? Every single new-business professional or business owner is really happy to sit down after receiving a handful of leads and have that conversation of “Hey, what about some back? What can we do to make sure they come the other way?”
If you give first, you are much more likely to receive.
Find a Way for Your Partners to Add Value to Your Clients
Find a way for your partners to add value to your clients’ businesses and vice versa in a way that doesn’t cost a lot — it doesn’t cost the clients a lot, but also it doesn’t cost your partners a lot.
At Step Change, when we run Intensives (workshops), if we have referral partners that can add value to that Intensive, we’ll invite them, brief them with the client, and of course, check if the client is cool with it.
Now that is such a more effective interaction than tossing over a lead via email. They get to meet the person, work with the person, see the value they offer, and of course, your partner is delivering value to your client before they’re asking for a sales meeting.
And that’s exactly what we want to do. The client wins. We win. The referral partners win.
The final one is commit, commit, commit. If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably thinking, Wow, there’s a lot to do there — and you’re right.
We estimate that with our referral partners, it takes 40–60 hours to set that all up for both partners, and then there’s an ongoing monthly management even if there’s no work happening in that month. There are meetings, lead sharing meetings, qualification meetings, and also social events to keep the partners engaged. So it’s a really big commitment.Referrals are cost-effective, but they’re not easy. They take a lot of work. But the thing is, most people give up too early.
Are you interested on becoming Step Change’s referral partner? Fill in the referral partner form below, and let’s chat.
Jeff Cooper is Step Change’s Founding Partner. Jeff learnt his most valuable lessons in strategic thinking by spending his own money. His entrepreneurial pursuits began back in 2004 when he started his first business, designing exhibition spaces and running events, eventually giving birth to an interactive event concept later adopted by the likes of Big Day Out and other major festival organisers. A decade later, in 2014–2015, startups Jeff was involved in raised over $1m in investment, and Step Change — which he co-founded — became a multimillion-dollar strategy consultancy, serving clients across five continents. He’s a true generalist, with ownership and Board interests in businesses from retail solar to beauty and beyond, at life stages from startup to over $150m revenue annually.