5 reasons your referral partner should be your BFF in business

The American alligator balances sticks and branches on its head to entice birds in search of nesting material. The margay jungle cat mimics the cries of baby monkeys. Fortunately, attracting new clients is nowhere near as difficult. One sure-fire way to grow your business is to find referral partners. Like macaque monkeys, you scratch their back and they scratch yours. Here are some of the reasons your referral partner should be your BFF (Best Friend Forever) in business.

1. More sales, less spend

Working with referral partners is like having your own dedicated bush telegraph, but better and more sophisticated. These people talk, and they talk for free. If you’re offering something worthwhile, the news will get out—fast! You might reduce your marketing budget as you generate leads and spur sales cycles. And, you can probably streamline your advertising through cleverly targeted cross-promotions and joint campaigns!

2. New fee source

Earning a referral fee for making a phone call is, as they say, ‘money for jam’. Do your homework though. There are legislative rules and acceptable percentages around referral fees. And don’t even think about dealing with someone who shows interest in being a referral partner, until you’ve ‘due-diligence’ yourself into a frenzy! A referral partner is essentially an extension of your business. What they do – or don’t do – reflects on you! Remember too, to be upfront with your client in all respects about all fees. You need to let your clients know you receive a fee, as a broker needs to let the client know they are paying it.

3. Happy clients, happy life

Ultimately, we all want to make our customers happy by offering the best service possible. Knowing the right someone to help an important client, can give your credibility a serious boost! Not knowing? Well… Just don’t be that person!

4. One good turn...

There’s a Congolese proverb that says, 'a single bracelet does not jingle'. Make use of obvious synergies you have with other professionals operating in the same sphere - accountants, solicitors, real estate agents, financial advisors for example. When you point clients toward skills and services you don’t offer, the professionals you send them to may just return the favour. They’ll provide better quality leads than you’d get working a cold call list. The more you expand your network, the more you open yourself up to new relationships and the more you learn. Strive to give, connect and share.

It might be a while since anyone went out of their way to help you but why not introduce a referral partner to people you know, who are also looking for a win-win? Or offer to publish their insights to your blog or newsletter? Eventually, a virtuous circle will form to everyone’s benefit. Please don’t keep score. A closely watched book on ‘who’s given who what’ will achieve nothing. It’s a long game, so take the long view!

5. Keep the love alive

Like-minded business owners who want to grow their businesses have lots in common. Build on your shared aims to create lasting relationships that can often become genuine friendships.

Please get in touch if this raises questions, or you’d just like some advice.