Today is Referral Monday and every Monday I write a post about Referral Marketing. Every week, I write about some aspect of developing a Referral Marketing system for your business and this week, I wanted spend some time talking about what that really means.
Building a business based on referrals means that you’ve invested time in understanding what a referable business is. And building a business based on referrals doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and a huge amount of commitment—commitment to developing the right relationships that will help you build your business.
The key here is to invest the time and effort to building long-term relationships that will pay off in increased referrals. We don’t refer people right after meeting them. We have to take the time to understand their business, what they do for clients and what kind of clients they work with best. We want to know what kind of results others have had using them. Even as a referral partner, we have to take the time to get to know, like and trust them, just as anyone would that’s interested in doing business with them. Once we’ve built that trust, then we’re ready to bring in our own trusted network and see who they might be able to help.
Building a business based on referrals is a very systematic and planned process. You need to inventory the areas in your network where you are in need of trusted partners to refer to. It requires mapping out your requirements and then identifying a path to establishing those partnerships. In some cases, you may not already know a trusted source so you’ll need to search through your network. You’ll invest time in simply finding the individual and then you’ll also invest time in ensuring they are the source that you need.
Not only does it take time to build your referral network. It takes time for the network to grow into the referral generating system you’re looking for. My advice to you–Invest the time in yourself and your business—this is still the most cost-effective way to build your business.