Winning by Referring

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These days, nearly everybody has a “side hustle.” Sadly, this can turn into a second or even third job and consume your time and energy. If you are looking for ways to increase your income without working a second job, this article is for you. While written primarily for people in a financial services-related industry, the concepts can apply to anyone. There is an effective way to double or even triple your income by working smarter, not harder.

Everybody is great at something. Hopefully you’re already engaged in a profession that you love. And like most people who love what they do, you are constantly seeking to grow, improve and expand your offer to your clients so you can provide them more and more value. Here’s an easy way to do make more money doing what you already love to do.

Most business professionals depend on networking for some or all of their business sales. Most local networking groups (without naming names) encourage people to become mutual referral partners–meaning you refer business to me and I’ll refer business to you. We all know how well that works. (Not.)

There’s a basic principle missing.

When you’re done with the networking meeting and you’ve got a dozen new business cards to follow up on, with people in a dozen different industries (only one person per industry allowed,) the last thing you need is another full-time “job” making referrals to all of these folks in the hope that they’ll also send some business your way.

What’s missing is leverage. 

In order to effectively grow your income you need to do two things:

  1. Grow your core business
  2. Provide added value to your existing customers.

 The key is to work smarter, not harder.

There’s a principle in NLP called “stacking.”  This means, when you want to reinforce a certain behavior you add emotionally-charged anchors that reinforce that behavior. Adding value to your existing customers is like that. If your core business is commercial insurance, for example, and your client can now also come to you for a referral for business financing, this added service reinforces their ties to you and increases the likelihood that they will renew their insurance with you and refer others to you for commercial insurance as well. Win/win.

Here are some tips on how to be a great referral partner.

1. Make warm Introductions

The benefit to you is that you can now “touch” the client more often. In the course of making referrals, you are also strengthening your relationship by learning more about your client’s business and introducing him or her to someone else in your network who can also meet their needs.

2. Setting the Expectations

This helps to build trust with the new provider and also lets your client know you are sensitive to his/her needs, time considerations, confidentiality, etc. Part of the expectation should be the role you will play and how you will be compensated (by the company you are referring them to, not by the client.)

3. Utilization of Your Account Manager

The Account Manager at the company you are referring business to can provide your clients with additional credibility by their professionalism and expertise in their related field. This puts you in good standing with your client, so be sure the business you are referring out is being handled well.

4. Understanding Your Partner’s Products & Services

Every successful professional engages in ongoing education. A company with a strong referral program provides ongoing education about their products and procedures which can supplement and enhance your professional education.  Especially in financial services, there are a lot of parallels among industries and you can always add to your expertise.

5. Marketing Materials Provided

With a good referral program, marketing materials for referral partners are usually available upon request.  Many companies will customize brochures and flyers for you and even write articles for your newsletter. The effect could be like having another marketing person on staff.

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SOFIA Capital Ventures offers a robust Referral Program to professionals with a well-established client or contact base. We provide ongoing education, co-branded marketing material, clear communication and professional excellence to your clients. We offer an initial no-cost evaluation of any loan request. To learn more CLICK HERE