Finding the Right Referral Partner

Victoria Trafton, a Referral Institute partner and franchise owner in Arizona, shared with with me some ideas I’d like to discuss here. She said to me recently that, in her experience, the key to having a stream of referrals coming to you is finding the right referral partners. We all know people we like, people we want to help, but it can be difficult to give them referrals.

So then, what does the right referral partner look like? Victoria suggested that a successful referral partnership is mutually beneficial and self-sustaining. Both parties can easily generate referrals for each other as they develop their own business. If it takes extra effort or they have to go outside their normal business activities, business owners generally can’t afford to take the time.

How do you find the right partner without wasting a lot of time? First of all, start with someone who meets the criteria for a strong referral source:

  • Must have trust between you;
  • Must work with your exact target market;
  • Must have influence with your market;
  • Must be willing to be trained as your referral partner;
  • Must be willing to train you to be his or her referral partner;
  • Must have the time and means to work a referral system;
  • Must have a well-developed and organized client/contact database.

Quite a list. But if you both meet the requirements, you are well on your way to having a great referral partnership. There is clearly a lot of training involved. Both parties need knowledge about each other and about referral systems. When the partnership works well, each side knows when it will get referrals, how many it can expect and how the referral was given.

When you find someone you think can become a referral partner, you must get some education to generate referrals intentionally, not find them occassionally. Victoria recommends my book, Business by Referral, co-authored with Robert Davis. She also recommends both parties get trained by taking classes together.

Victoria said that part of the reason she loves being a part of the Referral Institute is because the programs provide the training and systems that enable people to develop productive referral partnerships. As she says, “When you mix education with good people and good intentions, great things happen.”

0 thoughts on “Finding the Right Referral Partner

  1. Selecting a referral partner has become a tough job for my friend. After reading your article I hope your blog would give my friend a good guidance.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Finding the right referral partners it’s tough enough, but once you find them, one must be willing to do whatever it takes to help those you have identified as such. Great pointers.

  3. Dr. Misner,

    Victoria said, “When you mix education with good people and good intentions, great things happen.â€?

    Last summer I got to take the Certified Networker Course offered by Referral Institute. The training changed my life and my business. I am well on my way to running my business profitably with just a handful of good people with good intentions. With an 80% close ratio, nearly all my business is coming via referral and that is a great thing.

    As your first book’s title indicated, word-of-mouth marketing is “The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret”!

    I love it and thank you for promoting the concept to now global recognition.

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