I want to talk to you specifically about 3 Steps to Secure Your Next Referral Partner! Referrals are awesome! Maybe you’re always looking to collaborate with other business owners, specifically maybe even other practitioners, but you struggle to make it happen.
I have a recent client, Heidi, who reached out for some guidance and advice on this very topic. She is interested in building relationships, specifically with local yoga studios and I love that she took the initiative to reach out to studios in her area! She sent them a letter of introduction, including her business cards. But she just wasn’t getting any response. Crickets!
Do you understand this kind of frustration? Has something similar happened to you? Zero response is zero fun, so let’s work on what you can do to improve that response rate when reaching out to potential referral partners.
I know you don’t wan to look dumb or stupid in front of more advanced business owners and practitioners in your area. And you won’t!
But, be ready. Because you HAVE to take action! Even if you aren’t sure what to do, action is the key. As a matter of fact, it’s half the battle!
I want to give you a little recipe, a place to start, so that you no longer have any excuses to reach out to potential referral partners.
These are the relationships that will accelerate the growth of your business!
Let’s lay these steps out on the line, along with an example from Heidi’s perspective, of reaching out to a yoga studio owner through written communication.
1. Tell Them What You Want
Don’t dance around this. Don’t waste time! Tell them that you’re looking to collaborate and that you want to build a relationship where you can cross-refer business in the long-run. Be upfront! They are just as busy as you and by making it crystal clear, they can decide what they want to do quickly. How?
“Hello, Mr. or Mrs. Yoga Studio Owner. My name is Michelle. I’m a new business owner in the area. I’m reaching out because I would like to connect with other like-minded business owners to collaborate and cross-refer.”
That’s it! I’m telling them up front who I am and what I want and why I’m reaching out to them. Bam.
2. Make it Personal
Talk about you! Tell them what you do and what you specialize in. Share information about your practice and be authentic! Let them know that you genuinely want to build a relationship with them and why it make sense that your two businesses should collaborate. This helps them see what is in it for them, not just for you! Check out this example:
“You’re at the top of my list to connect with because …” Here is where you’ll make it more personal to them. Don’t talk about yourself, let them know why you want to connect with them specifically!
Maybe one of the examples is, “I heard you speak recently at a local chamber event and I was really impressed with your professionalism and your approach to business.” That’s all it takes!
Another example could possibly be saying, “You’re at the top of my list to connect with because after hearing about you from several of your clients, I realized that the way that you care for your clients and the level of customer experience that you’re delivering to them matches my approach as well.” There you go.
Let them know something you may have learned about them or why you see a lot of synergy between your business and theirs.
3. Invite Them To Collaborate
Give them a call to action! What would you like to do next with them to begin building that relationship? You’re not sure where your relationship can go without inviting them to this next step, so make sure you do it!
The language here would be something like, “I get the sense that we have a similar approach in our businesses and how we treat clients. I see you as someone of high integrity and professionalism. For that reason, I’d really appreciate the opportunity to get to know more about you and your business. I’m inviting you to meet for coffee in the next couple weeks. Would you please let me know what day and time work best?”
Here is where I’m inviting them to the next step with a very clear call to action.
By approaching your outreach in this way, by following these three steps, you’re going to see a lot more response, a higher response rate and a more welcoming response the next tie you reach out to a potential referral partner.
Finally, don’t forget to follow up! Make sure you follow through to show and build trust that you genuinely want to build a relationship with this fellow business owner.