Last week, I had a conversation with a prospect that gets most of her new business through referral partners. Her challenge was that she does not have enough time in the day to have personal contact with enough referral partners, so she was interested in online advertising.
While online advertising can be a great vehicle for leads, it was not the right next step for her, because she had not built a system for generating more referrals from her referral partners. This is a common problem I see with service providers that can easily be remedied with a little creativity and effort.
The best way to get more referrals is by providing value to your referral partners, or helping them provide more value to their clients, and staying top of mind. So here are a few examples:
At the Center for College Solutions, Beth Walker is giving away her book Never Pay Retail for College to financial planners. They give it to clients who have children nearing college age. Their clients appreciate it and Beth is positioned as an expert.
Sean Courtney of Community Mortgage has a bi-weekly show on Facebook Live. He invites real estate agents onto his show to give them more exposure and provide them with video footage they can share. He also does a monthly spotlight on other service providers in San Diego.
Recently, we have started partnering with digital agencies to manage Google Adwords for their clients (something many agencies find challenging to deliver profitably). To help the agencies understand the process, so they can clearly explain it to their clients, we created a guide on the process. And starting in December, we will send out a monthly update on what is new in Adwords and how advertisers are using it effectively.
So if referral partners are a good source of new business for you, then you would benefit from figuring out a system for getting more referrals from them. All you have to do is figure out how to be valuable to them, and create a system to ensure you stay top-of-mind.