Referral Relationships – The Best Pyramid Scheme

Hamish Mexted Business Strategy & Planning, Odds & Ends

Building relationships with people is relatively easy. But building meaningful relationships with some great referrals can prove to be difficult.

Before we get too deep, think, how many people do you know? And who do those people know? And so on… I know this is pretty basic stuff, but word of mouth is the cheapest and most effective advertising you’ll get.

What people struggle with is how to manage the relationship to allow for people to refer work through to you.

Self-reflecting on what we do, our top three tips for referring are:

  1. Education

You need to educate the people that you’re asking to refer to you.

You’ll need to educate on what your product or service actually is, how you differ from others in the market, and an interesting story from the industry.

You also want to educate people on what the ideal referral for you is, and who your target market is.

  1. Are you staying in contact?

It’s fine to educate your referrers on the ‘ideal’ referral, but how often are you reminding them of this? This can be as simple as a coffee, email to say Hi, or a phone call.

Be proactive and don’t wait for them to contact you. Reaching out to potential referrers as often as you can is important – but obviously without being a pain.

  1. Focus on Serving, Not Selling

Remember, you’re meeting with referrers so don’t make the mistake of controlling the conversation. How you portray yourself with the referrer is how you want your image projected to potential customers.

Demonstrate how you can assist, solve and serve people. Any attempt to “sell” will likely result in you burning that relationship!

Remember – word of mouth is your greatest tool so use it!