Imagine a world where all the business you could ever want just comes to you not because you have spent a lot of money on PR and advertising or on Google ad campaigns but because the people you know have referred people to you.
You have become a magnet drawing new clients and customers towards you. This is the nirvana of business development and doesn’t need to be just a fantasy.
I meet many business people who talk about referrers and referrals and when I ask them how many introductions they get from specific contacts the answer often is “very few” or “I had one once”. These are sometimes people that they have met once and sometimes people that they have known for many years.
There are several ingredients in the recipe for a successful referral relationship and one of these is the fears and benefits conversation.
Sometimes I meet with potential referrers who have a greater potential to refer business to me than I to them. By helping their contacts and clients I can help to enhance the relationship that my referrer has with his/her client and by helping them to grow they will become an even more valuable client for the referrer.
What goes through my mind though sometimes is this “What if they are expecting the same number of referrals back? I only rarely come across a potential client for them. What are they expecting in return?”
These are my fears about the referral relationship and if I hold on to them rather than expressing them, they will always get in the way of the relationship. If that is true for me, how might it be true for the other party too?
So you can see how it is important to have a discussion and to lay all your cards on the table. You can then develop a productive referral relationship based on mutual trust and honesty and you will attract business to each other.