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So who is a good potential referral partner again? 

  • Anyone who has the same target clients you have
  • Is at about the same level of business you are at, or maybe a little MORE established.
  • Someone as interested in getting clients by referral as you are

So let’s say you have done a little Google research and found a person in your city who probably meets your ideal target clients all the time in their line of work.  As I mentioned yesterday, you should look at their website and get an idea who they are and then call to invite them to talk with you.  Hooray!  They are interested in talking to you!  Now, what do you say?

First of all, I always put the other person first.  I don’t want them sitting the whole time I am speaking wondering when it is going to be their turn.  I want them to really listen to me instead of thinking about what they are going to say!  So I invite them to go first in our conversation and then I make sure I ask them four VERY good questions:

  • I’ve looked at your website – can you tell me more about your business?
  • Who are your ideal target clients?
  • If I met one of your ideal target clients and see they need your service, what would you like me to tell them about you?
  • I will, of course, send you clients if I can – but is there anything else I could do that might help you with your business?

o   Who are the kinds of people you like to meet that know your clients?  I’ll make introductions if I can.

o   Are you looking for speaking engagements?  Where do you like to speak?

o   Is there anything else, in addition to trying to send you referrals that I can do to help you?

Keep in mind when it is your turn that not everyone will have it together enough to be as organized about asking YOU questions as you were, but since you asked these, you will have a tacit agreement for you to share the same things:

  • More about your business
  • Who your ideal target clients are… and if you are smart, you will be sure to mention why they hire or pay you (their “problem”) and what it is like for them when they get your final product (your “solution” to their “problem.”)
  • Be sure to tell your new business colleague EXACTLY what you would like them to say if they meet one of your ideal target clients.  Not JUST – “here’s her phone number” – but “I know a _____ who does ______  (“your kind of work.”)  Have you ever thought of talking to someone like that?  S/he could probably help you with _____________.  Here’s his/her contact information.”  (Please note I have been deliberately vague so that more of you can “fill in the blanks” and use this script.)
  • If you have something you are looking for (like speaking engagements, like another kind of business professional they might know, or an introduction to someone you have been trying to meet forever but haven’t found an “in”) – ASK –  you never know if they might be able to help.  I have sometimes gotten better tips from “strangers” than I do from my friends!

Remember this kind of conversation is not molecular biology!  The “script” is very simple and you will get loads of good information – including things you can do right away to look for clients or build your business that this person has just suggested to you.

How do you stay in contact with your new “business friend(s)” without this taking up all of your time?

I will write about that tomorrow!


Need help in this area?  Contact me for a session!

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