You spend hours and hours of your precious time marketing yourself…
Nurturing your audience
Engaging with prospective clients
Pitching your beloved business
All in the hopes that you’ll walk away with yet another sale.
So when you do book a new client – it calls for a celebration! You worked hard, my friend! 💃🏽✨
But you know what feels even better than making that sale after putting in all that work?
Making that sale through client referrals.
The sale practically makes itself!
And that is the power of the referral. Investing energy into upping your client referrals is an amazing way to build your roster and make more sales without all that hard work.
(Except for all the hard work you did building a fantastic reputation, of course.)
So how exactly do you harness the power of the referral to drive those sales up and up and up?
Let us be your guide.
And of course, we will help you do it all while protecting you and your brilliant business from landing in any legal hot water.
Right this way… 👇🏽
Step 1: Know Your Ideal Referral Candidate
This might be a tough pill to swallow…but you and your business are not for everyone. 😳
Don’t freak out!
Because the key to getting client referrals is knowing exactly who your ideal client is.
So be specific.
As much as we might like to think that our products and services could change anyone’s life, that way of thinking won’t benefit our business. Now is the time to ask yourself *exactly* what type of person will benefit from your products and services above anyone else.
👉🏽 What industry are they in?
👉🏽 What stage of their life or career are they in?
👉🏽 What problem are they having that only you can solve?
When you are *crystal clear* about who your ideal referral candidate is, you will be able to communicate that to your ideal referral partner.
We’ll get into that in step 2, so don’t stress, sis.
Step 2: Identify Your Ideal Client Referral Partner
To put it simply, your ideal referral partner is your Match Made in Referral Heaven.
Remember that ideal client from step 1?
You and your ideal referral partner actually have the same ideal client.
But the important thing is that you serve them in two very different ways.
It’s important that your ideal referral partner serves the same ideal client as you without being your direct competitor.
Maybe one of you works in the finance space and one of you works in the marketing space for the same type of client.
Now it’s time to band together and create a mutually beneficial business relationship. ❤️
When you find the right match, you’ll have client referrals coming your way in no time.
Step 3: Make the Connection
Once you’ve identified who your ideal client is, and your ideal referral partner, it’s time to get out there and cultivate those connections!
If you find yourself spiraling wondering, “Where do I even start?!”…stop right there.
Take a deep breath and then take a look at your existing network.
You’ve worked tirelessly to build a community of business owners people who are passionate about the same things as you.
So what are you waiting for?
It’s time to leverage those existing connections on your search for the ideal referral partner.
Go ahead and let your colleagues know that you’re looking to make a referral partnership.
And pinky promise you will be upfront about your intentions, friend.
No one wants a suspicious message from someone in their network that ~vaguely~ alludes to the fact that you’re hoping for some client referrals.
Or even worse – you could end up with The Curse of The One-Sided Referral Relationship.😫
Don’t get yourself trapped in a cycle of sending someone all kinds of fantastic referrals while secretly hoping they will send some your way in return.
News flash – this strategy almost always ends in disappointment.
So don’t let this be an unspoken thing!
This is the moment to be strategic and intentional.
Let this person know that you’ve identified them as an ideal referral partner. You believe this relationship could benefit you both.
And then go ahead and formally request client referrals from them.
Be sure to clearly outline your ideal client so that they can easily identify who in their community would benefit from your services.
It’s important that your request for a referral partnership doesn’t feel like a ton of work for your new business bestie.
So make it easy for them!
Be specific about how you want them to go about referring potential clients to you.
Do you prefer an email introduction?
Do you have a referral link?
Do you want them to slide into your DMs?
The less energy or effort your referral partner has to put in, the more likely it is they will send you referrals, upon referrals, upon referrals. ✅
You want to make their job so easy that they could refer you new clients in their sleep!
Step 4: Formalize This Relationship
Here at Coaches and Co., we love all things legally legit.
Which is why we would always recommend that you formalize your referral partnerships.
The best way to do this is to create an incentive program.
Whether this is an affiliate or commission program, you want to put it in writing that you and your referral partner have agreed about how you will be compensated for your referrals.
Make sure you’ve agreed upon…
- The percentage or amount of commission on each successful client referral
- How often payment will be issued
- And any other terms associated with this new partnership.
We totally get those formalizing partnerships can sound like a whole lot of legal lingo to learn, but trust us when we say it’s worth it.
When you formalize your referral partnership, it incentivizes your partners by giving them a commission for every client sent that ends up signing…and vice versa.
It’s truly a win-win situation. 💃🏽✨
So don’t shy away from a referral partnership opportunity just because you’re afraid to put it in writing.
Formalizing your partnership is the best way to keep that steady stream of client referrals while protecting your precious business.
To learn more about affiliate programs, check out our blog on creative ways online entrepreneurs can boost their bottom line through affiliate marketing.
Step 5: Express Your Gratitude
This is arguably the most important step in this whole process.
When you cultivate a referral partnership and start getting quality clients through these relationships, it’s time to make your gratitude known.
Be sure to tell your referral partners that you are so happy with the top-tier clients they send your way and you appreciate their effort.
They need to know that they are absolutely nailing it!
But on the other hand…
What happens when they are simply ~not~ nailing it? 😫
If you’ve been receiving client referral after client referral who are consistently not the right fit, you still need to express that gratitude. Your referral partner is still making an effort!
BUT – along with that gratitude, it’s important to communicate how they can more accurately identify your ideal client.
It might feel challenging to have this conversation but think of it this way.👇🏽
The more accurately they can identify your ideal client, the more likely it is the referral will be a success…and they will make their commission. 💰
So remember: gratitude is key, regardless of how many successful client referrals you’ve received.
Always remember to send a note in the mail, some flowers, or even an Uber eats gift card to show your referral partner some love. ❤️
What says, “I appreciate you and your hard work” more than some delicious takeout? 🥡
The more you make them feel valued, the more likely it is that they’ll want to keep growing with you and aligning with your business. ✅
For Bonus Points
By now, you’re probably ready to get out there and start harnessing the power of referral partnerships.
But if you’re looking for a way to take it one step further, this is your sign to join a referral network.
Luckily, Coaches and Co. has you covered!
✨ Enter Crème de la Crème ✨
Coaches and Company’s new searchable directory of verified service providers.
Believe us when we tell you, these experts are truly the cream of the crop.
If you are interested in applying to join as a founding member, not only will you get founding member benefits, you’ll get your own SEO-friendly personalized profile showcasing you and your business featured on Crème de la Crème.
Joining our internal referral network makes it easy for like-minded, hard-working service providers to find your profile and they can feel good knowing you have been vetted by the team at Coaches and Co.
We can’t wait to receive your application to join this fabulous roster! 💃🏽✨
Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal contract templates, so you can upgrade your client contract while staying Profitable & Protected™✨
Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you. Grab our free Legally Launch Handbook to get the legal lowdown on everything in entrepreneurship, without the confusing mumbo jumbo. We’re serving it up straight and to the point. (Heads up: It’ll forever transform the way you view your client relationships!) Grab your copy now.
*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.