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2 Critical Questions to Maximize Introductions from Referral Partners

by Bill Cates
2 Questions that Your Referral Partners Must Be Able to Answer

If I ran into a good prospect for you and your business, how would I know it and how would you like me to introduce them to you?

 

That phrase summarizes the topic for this week’s blog post. Last week I provided a checklist of things you can do to create more productive referral relationships.

Let’s drill down a little deeper, shall we?

 

Essentially, the same principles that guide us with introductions from our clients apply to introductions from our Referral Partners or Centers of Influence.

 

We don’t want Word of Mouth! We don’t want weak Referrals! We DO want Connections and Introductions! We want prospective clients waiting and wanting to hear from us. We want prospects who are a perfect fit for our business, ready to do business with us.

 

Wow! Wouldn’t that be nice?   So how do we do that?

 

How to Turn Referral Partners into “Introduction Partners”

 

Let’s get back to that opening question… “If I ran into a good prospect for you and your business, how would I know it and how would you like me to introduce them to you?”

This is a 2-part question that you and your Referral Partners want to be asking each other:

 

PART 1 – Who do you want to meet?

 

Is every one of your Referral Partners crystal clear about who fits your business and who doesn’t fit your business? Do they know who you serve the best? Do they know how to recognize those folks – what these people are complaining about or what opportunities are in front of them?

 

How do you make sure that the answer to these questions is “yes?” You sit down and talk to them about it. Once you find someone who you believe has the willingness and ability to introduce you to qualified prospects… Once you realize your potential referral partner moves in the right circles where they are likely to meet prospects for your business… you want to make sure they know who you want to meet – and vice versa.

 

This education of your Referral Partners isn’t usually accomplished through one conversation. This is not a “set it and forget it” sort of relationship. Sometimes it takes time for the message to sink in and usually the message needs to be reinforced from time to time.

 

Creating productive Referral Partners is an ongoing process that needs regular attention

 

 

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PART 2 – How do you want to meet them?

 

Have you ever heard this from a client or Referral Partner, “I gave your name out to someone the other day; have you heard from them yet?”

 

Ouch! No, no, no! Word of Mouth simply isn’t enough most of the time. We need to work from solid introductions as often as possible.

 

Talk to you Referral Partners about creating great connections for each other. This is not just for your sake, but also for the sake of the person you can help.

 

Teach your Referral Partner how you prefer to be introduced. For example, financial professionals typically love to get referrals from accountants and attorneys. And they know that the best way to meet a CPA’s client is in that CPA’s office – so the financial professional is perceived as part of the CPA’s team.

 

What works best for you? Do your Referral Partners know this? And what’s second best for you? Do they know that?   What works best for you may not be what works best for your Referral Partner.