When I grew up in a small country town at Roberts Creek near Maclean in NSW, everyone knew their neighbours. Social life revolved around our small primary school at South Arm. The primary school was the hub for community life. If you needed help on your farm or work done, you simply called your neighbour to help you. It was a community that cared about one another.
Now we live in cities and big towns and we do not often know even our neighbours and the ‘sense of community’ rarely exists today. So now we have a choice that we can make. We can actually choose the people that we want to do business with.
We can choose carefully people that we can connect with and build our OWN Business Community. Build a community around us that shares our values; integrity and honesty. People that we can trust in business and people that we are happy to recommend to our clients for their products and services. The ones that we know that will treat our clients just like we do. That value ‘old fashioned service’ and truly care about their clients’ needs.
But How Do We Find These Business People? I call them my Business Gold Partners. Attributes of a Gold Business Referral Partner:
- Honesty in all of their business dealings
- High integrity in business
- Their word is their bond
- They care about the service they deliver to their clients
- They are self disciplined and well liked
- They are involved in their communities
- They have a ‘givers mentality’
- They form strong bonds of friendship with others
- They ‘hang out’ with other successful business people
Identify business people that you already know that have some of these above attributes. Make a list of 6 of these people. Then select 3 people that share similar clients to what your business does. They would normally meet your clients either before or after you do. These are the ones that we are now going to target as your Business Gold Referral Partner.
- Research each person using the following tools: Google their business; look up their LinkedIn profile; look up their Facebook pages-personal and business; ask a trusted business friend if they know them.
- Check out on LinkedIn if you have a mutual connection. If so ask for an introduction to the person that you are targeting. Ask your friend to set up a Coffee Meeting to introduce you to one another and commence getting to know one another.
- Set up a second coffee meeting and ask your new business associate to meet up with you within the next week to talk specifically on how you can help one another. How you can refer clients to one another and what is your best client and what sort of clients that are not suitable for your business.
- Now is the best part of it all. Building a business relationship of trust and friendship. Learn about their hobbies, their family and their business achievements. These are all the things that build a deep trust with one another.
- Invite your new business associate to a networking event, a business event, a business social event and show that you care about them and their world.
- Now is the time to ‘roll up your sleeves’ and take this business relationship to Gold Referral Partner Status. You need to make the first move here. You need to find one of your clients that you can refer and connect to them.
- Set up a Coffee Meeting and invite your client and your new Gold Referral Partner along to the meeting and introduce them to one another. You are the person that they both now trust. In my experience, 90% of business done this way will lead to a new sale and client for your Gold Referral Partner.
- Your Gold Referral Partner will now want to reciprocate. This is human nature. So they will now be looking at their database to find a great client for you. You have taught them how to refer, so they will do the same for you by connecting you with their client over a Coffee Meeting. For you a new client is now been developed.
I suggest that you meet together once a month for a coffee and discuss which of your clients are suitable for you to refer to each other. This will not all happen overnight, but it will happen. Gold Referral Partners are for the long term, they require patience and persistence and trust to build. But these relationships are in the long term, the highest quality business friendships that you can ever make.
In my next Blog I will be exploring the link between Gold Partners and your Gold Clients…