As business owners, we’re all after more referrals. But how do we put ourselves in a position to receive more referrals? Have you ever stopped to consider that one of the reasons you may not be referred on is because people don’t know what you want? So overcome that by telling them what you want!
Most business people with whom you have a good relationship are keen to help by passing referrals. But they can only be effective helpers if you educate them about the type of referrals you want and the triggers that occur in conversations alerting them to the opportunity to refer.
Let’s start with the first one…
It’s not up to your referral partner to guess at the type of referrals you want. It’s up to you to tell them. They’re not mind readers! Now, I know that as women we don’t like to tell people what we want because we are afraid we will be regarded as pushy or overbearing. Get over it and stop being your own worst enemy! The simple way to handle it is to ask your referral partner first what she wants. Take notes as she speaks and repeat them back so she knows you’re making a big effort to help her. Do this over a relaxed cup of coffee and take time to really understand her business on multiple levels. That’s bound to put her in the right frame of mind to absorb your information.
Next, ask her the trigger comments that potential clients might say to indicate she may be able to provide benefit to someone. For example, “My accounts are all over the place,” may mean a bookkeeper is required. “My interest rate is too high,” may mean a mortgage broker could be of value. “My website isn’t delivering any telephone calls,” may mean some SEO advice is required. Then, tell her yours.
By knowing these things about your referral partner, and vice versa, you are putting each other in a magnificent position to cross refer. Imagine the relationship that will develop then.
Lisa & Jo