Many people have surface-level referral relationships. They know just enough about a referral source’s business to get by. They don’t actually know a lot about the person themselves. They tend to say vague things like: “They are really nice,” “You’ll like them, they are a good person,” or “Well, if you just meet with them, I am sure you’ll like them.”
So, what are the key points to having a deep referral relationship? If you know the following points about a person and his or her business, you would have a pretty deep referral relationship:
- You believe they are an expert at what they do.
- You trust them to do a great job and take great care of your referred prospects.
- You have known each other for at least one year.
- You understand at least three major products or services within their business and feel comfortable explaining them to others.
- You know the names of their family members and have met them personally.
- You have both asked each other how you can help grow your respective businesses.
- You know at least five of their goals for the year, including personal goals and business goals.
- You could call them at 10 o’clock at night if you really needed something.
- You would not feel awkward asking them for help with either a personal or business challenge.
- You enjoy the time you spend together.
- You have regular appointments scheduled, both business and personal.
- You enjoy seeing them achieve further success.
- They are “top of mind” each and every day.
- You have open, honest talks about how you can help each other further.
You may be shocked at the level of personal knowledge required for a deep referral relationship, feeling that referrals should be all about business. I completely disagree. It takes a lot to develop this type of relationship, and my hope is that you’ll make the effort with someone you truly like, have the desire to help, and want to spend time with.
After reviewing the bullet points above, what conclusions have you come to about the depth of your current referral relationships? Are your relationships more or less in line with these points, or could they use some work? If you have some work to do, what are some of the tactics you are going to start with in order to deepen your relationships? Please leave your thoughts in the comment forum below.