Copyright 2006 John Jantsch
You know you have much to offer your referral partners but, they don’t seem very motivated to refer you to their network.
You’ve taken the lawyer, accountant, financial planner and insurance broker to lunch, explained your greatness but, still, they don’t ever send any referrals your way. Maybe it’s time to shift the entire dynamic in this little referral process and spark their motivation by getting them to chase you instead.
Today I plan to outline two very powerful tactics that will get your prime referral target partners to return your calls, introduce you to their network and actively market your business.
Before I do though I want to explain the universal principle these tactics are built upon.
When you make a sales call on one of your prime referral prospects, the focus is one what “they” can do for “you.” In that scenario, you are indeed selling. What if your reversed the focus and presented a referral partnership that instead focused on what “you” were going to do for “them?”
The tactics I am about to outline will give you the creative framework but, this shift in focus is the driver and a principle so strategic in nature that it’s worth looking for other ways to apply.
So, to shift the focus to your referral source I offer two powerful strategies.
1) The Perfect Introduction In Reverse – Make up a list of 25 prime referral sources – Those folks that you know serve your same market and could easily influence some percentage of that market to consider your services. Write to these source and tell them that you admire what they do and think that you have clients that you could refer to them. Include a form in this mailing that allows them to explain in their own words exactly how to introduce them to your clients. Ask them to fill this form out using your Perfect Introduction as an example and return it to you.
Simple as this sounds it will forever alter how they view your business. And, you will certainly receive some information that will allow you to refer a portion of these sources to your clients. But, you will also be amazed by the amount of positive feedback you receive from the simple twist in the selling dynamic. All of a sudden you become the client instead of the salesperson.
2) Interview Syndrome – No matter what the topic, everyone likes to be interviewed. I publish a podcast here – and I’m amazed at the caliber of guest that will return my phone call or email when I ask to interview them for my podcast. Granted, my podcast has a few more listeners than the average small time AM radio talk show these days but, there is something fetching about the lure of the media interview.
Here is how you apply this to your referral network. Make up a list of professionals or service providers that you think would have something worthwhile to say to your target audience. Then, once a month, invite one of these experts to participate in a recorded interview. Record, broadcast or otherwise syndicate this content on your web site or even as a series of CDs. Or, you can host these events as live teleseminars and invite your guest speakers to promote the call to their clients and prospects.
So now when you approach a potential referral source you are no longer asking them to do something for you, you are asking them if they want to be famous, or something close to it. Can you how one of the above tactics might change how you approach your referral sources? Try either of these for a while and just might find referral sources begging to be on your team.