Tactical Tuesday – Strategies you can use to grow your business.

Welcome to Tactical Tuesday – a series I’m running every Tuesday that looks at tactics I’m currently using (both in my own business and those of my clients) to generate high quality leads and high value clients.

I wanted to start off Tactical Tuesday (can we please make that “thing”?) with a bang – so thought I’d share with you a simple, but often overlooked strategy that can be one of the best sources of new leads into your business!

It’s a tactic and strategy that I’ve used across several industries (Financial Services, Technology and Construction/ Renovation), and it’s a low effort, low cost and high return strategy.

The only downside to this strategy is that it’s “passive” – which means you have to wait for the results (rather than being more “active” like cold emailing or cold calling).

Ok – enough of me waffling on about the strategy – let’s dive into what it is and how I’m applying it.

Strategy: Strategic alliances with other businesses to drive referrals.

You’re probably thinking “Really? I thought it would have been something around online marketing, or to do with social media – this idea has been around for ages… and there’s even groups that do this in a more formal way”

And you’re absolutely right!

The idea HAS been around for ages, and yes there ARE groups that do this (local Business Chambers etc.) – but every time I bring up this strategy I get these two objections as to why this strategy wouldn’t work:

  • “What if they just take all my referrals and don’t give any back?”
  • “What if the person I refer my clients or leads to treat them badly or stuff it up somehow?”

I’m going to show you not only how I find other businesses that are keen to build a mutually beneficial partnership, but also how I vet them to make sure they are a business my clients would actually like to deal with, and how to set up the relationship to protect both parties.

Now, the easiest part of this whole strategy is finding a business that is looking for new leads (like yours) and are open to building relationships with the RIGHT partners.

(kind of, but not quite THAT easy…)

For my clients, I tend to do a local area search (hello Google…).

The important point is to find a business whose clients you can add value to. For example:

  • Financial Advisors/ Planners and Accountants
  • Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate Agent
  • Accountants and Lawyers
  • IT Managed Services and IT Infrastructure
  • Software (App) Development and Web Design

Here’s a simple script that you can use (both email or phone):

 “Hey {{name}},

 I found your business on Google/ LinkedIn and I really like {{something you actually like about their business/ website – be genuine}}.

 I’m a mortgage broker based in {{Your Location}} who is always looking to provide extra value to my clients, and I was wondering if you’re open to working with clients who want to {{a result that would be good for your clients}}.

 I’d love to find out a bit more about your business, and who your ideal clients are – since we’re both based around {{Location}}, would you be open to catching up for a quick chat over coffee?

 Let me know if {{time}} next week works – otherwise, let me know what time works better!”

If you got a message like this – how would you respond (even if you don’t like/ drink coffee)?

(kind of like this guy right?…)

Getting that first meeting is actually the EASY part. The most important thing is to make sure there’s actually a good fit, that both parties will benefit from the relationship and that your clients would actually LIKE dealing with them.

Here’s some ideas on what you can do to make sure they’re the right partners for you and your clients:

  • Run through their sales process as a customer (see it from the customer’s perspective). Are they responsive, are the professional and are they friendly?
  • Ask them about their clients, and who they like helping
  • Read their customer testimonials on their website or blog

Ok so now – you’ve done the out-reach, done some research on them, met them and are pretty comfortable with them as a business and as a person.

Here’s the next step I normally help my clients implement to make sure the relationship is a good one….

Establish a kind of business “prenup”.

That is – an agreement between the two parties that clearly states what happens when someone is referred to you (or you refer someone to them).

I generally like (at the start of the relationship anyway) to do some kind of payment. So if someone refers you a client, you pay him or her a 10% – 20% fee.

This means that you stop worrying about “well – I sent 5 clients over, and they only sent 2 back… this isn’t fair” because you’re both getting compensated for each referral.

 (Also – I’ve got a sample/ template document of a simple agreement document. If it would be of help to you, either email me at [email protected] or connect with me here on LinkedIn and message me).

Now… you’ve got the relationship established, and have potentially sent a few clients through (and got some clients back), it’s super important to recognise the relationship and show them that you appreciate their help and their referrals.

This is the EXTREMELY fun part of doing business, and here’s some ideas that have worked for me over the years:

  • Gift basket when they send over clients – with bigger ones at 5 or 10 customers etc.
  • Take them out to nice restaurant as a thank you (you can either buy vouchers for just them or you can go as well!)
  • Buy them relevant, interesting books as a gift for every new referral clients
  • Cards, chocolate and other clichéd (but much appreciated) gifts

Strategic referral agreements are one of the best ways to build you business. Done the right way, I’ve seen businesses add 6 and even 7 figures in revenue (both ways).

The good thing is – it’s something that you can set up once, and get the benefits over and over again. You can even leave it running in the background, whilst you focus on more direct marketing strategies.

I hope that helped to show you a structure way of finding and setting up a long term, mutually beneficial referral relationship. I’d love to hear from you, and get your feedback on the strategy/ tactic as well as any stories of how this has worked in your business.

Also – let me know if  you want more posts like The Common Marketing Mistakes Financial Services Business Make (And How To Fix Them), more on Social Media, more ideas that your team can quickly implement or something else entirely?

Email me at [email protected], connect with me on here or leave a comment and let me know!

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