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Making Referrals to Boost YOUR Business

Everybody is great at something. I hope you’re already engaged in a profession that you love. And like most folks who love what they do, you are constantly seeking to grow, improve and expand your offer to your clients so you can provide them more and more value. Here’s an easy way to make more money doing what you already love to do.

Networking

Most business professionals depend on networking for some or all of their business sales. Most local networking groups (without naming names) encourage people to become mutual referral partners–meaning you refer business to me and I’ll refer business to you. We all know how well that works. (Not.)

There’s a basic principle missing.

When you’re done with the networking meeting and you’ve got a dozen new business cards to follow up on, with people in a dozen different industries (only one person per industry allowed,) the last thing you need is another full-time “job” making referrals to all of these folks in the hope that they’ll also send some business your way.

What’s missing is leverage.  In order to effectively grow your income you need to do two things:

  1. Grow your core business
  2. Provide added value to your existing customers.

The key is to work smarter, not harder.

There’s a principle in NLP called “stacking.”  This means, when you want to reinforce a certain behavior you add emotionally-charged anchors that reinforce that behavior. Adding value to your existing customers is like that. If your core business is commercial insurance, for example, and your client can now also come to you for business financing, this added service reinforces their ties to you and increases the likelihood that they will renew their insurance with you and refer others to you for commercial insurance as well. Win/win.

Here are some tips on how to be a great referral partner.

  1. Make warm Introductions

The benefit to you is that you can now “touch” the client more often. In the course of making referrals, you are also strengthening your relationship by learning more about your client’s business and introducing him or her to someone else in your network who can also meet their needs.

  1. Set the Expectations

This helps to build trust with the new provider and also lets your client know you are sensitive to his/her needs, time considerations, confidentiality, etc.  Part of the expectation should be the role you will play and how you will be compensated (by the company you are referring them to, not by the client.)

  1. Use Your Account Manager

The Account Manager at the company you are referring business to can provide your clients with additional credibility by their professionalism and expertise in their related field. This puts you in good standing with your client, so be sure the business you are referring out is being handled well.

  1. Understanding Your Partner’s Products & Services

Every successful professional engages in ongoing education. A company with a strong referral program provides ongoing education about their products and procedures which can supplement and enhance your professional education.  Especially in financial services, there are a lot of parallels among industries and you can always add to your expertise.

  1. Take Advantage of Market Materials Provided

With a good referral program, marketing materials for referral partners are usually available upon request.  Many companies will customize brochures and flyers for you and even write articles for your newsletter. The effect could be like having another marketing person on staff.

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Sofia Capital Ventures has an outstanding Referral Partner program for professionals with an existing client base. To learn more about it CLICK HERE.

 

By |August 9th, 2017|Commercial Lending, Private Commercial Lending|Comments Off on Making Referrals to Boost YOUR Business
Barbara Leuin, Commercial Lending Expert
Barbara Leuin, Ph.D., Commercial Lending Expert, Carlsbad, CA, is a serial entrepreneur and real estate investor, with over 30 years of professional experience, including 13 years of university teaching in business and economics; 16 years of business consulting; and 5 years as a full-time real estate investor. Since 1996, she has helped start-up businesses access millions in private capital. As CEO, Barbara brings visionary leadership, team-building and leadership to Sofia Capital Ventures. She is responsible for lender relationships, broker training and identifying market opportunities.

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