How to start a relationship with referral partners.

Having a group of strategic referral partners is one of the best ways to get new leads for your business. Referral partners who are connected to your ideal clients can send new business your way over and over again. Once you identify the type of business or industry that sees your ideal client before they need you, you can seek out more professionals in that industry.

Starting a new relationship with strategic referral partners can feel awkward. You don’t want to seem pushy, but you can see how the person has potential to help your business. Referral partners will only give you referrals if they know you, like you and trust you. Immediately asking them for referrals has the potential to push them away.

Nice to meet you

Most relationships start with an introduction from a mutual friend or colleague. Take the introduction a step further and set up a time to get to know each other over the phone or in person. During your one-on-one meeting, find out about their business as well as them personally. Look for a way you can help them.

I’ll scratch your back. . .

Referral partners, just like anyone, are more likely to help you if you help them first. You may not be able to reciprocate by giving them referrals, so find something else you can do. Be aware of who their strategic referral partners are and look for opportunities to make introductions that will help them. Find out what needs they have in their personal life and connect them with resources. Invite them to professional events that will benefit them.

Be interested in your referral partners

Take time to get to know them as a human being, not just a professional. Show your interest in them, their family, and their hobbies. Support them in their struggles. Celebrate with them in their accomplishments.

Asking for referrals

Once you have taken the time to get to know your referral partners and have done something to help them, it is logical to let them know how they can help you. Keep them educated on who your ideal clients are and how you help them. Because you have approached them by building a relationship first, they have already begun to know you, like you and trust you. When they feel that way, they will be happy to share referrals with you.

If you are ready to reach out and build relationships with more strategic referral partners in order to grow your business, join me for, “25 Days to Your 25 List.” Over this 5 week challenge, you’ll identify 25 strategic referral partners, reach out to them, and begin to build relationships with them. You can find out more about it here.


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