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A 5 step process to generate a steady stream of quality referrals from your referral partners

By Brenda Thomson

In my last post I talked about how many referral relationships set up a WIN – WIN – No-Gain relationship. So how do you ensure that your referral partnerships are WIN – WIN – WIN?

In any referral relationship there are three parties

  1. The person with a problem then want solved – the person being referred (Person A)
  2. The person they ask for an introduction  – the person giving the referral (Person B)
  3. The person who can solve the problem – the person receiving the referral (Person C)

Here are the steps in a typical referral process

  1. Person A (the person with a problem) asks person B if they know anyone who can help.
  2. Person B gives them the contact details for person C (the person who can help)- or if they are very proactive gets person C to contact person A
  3. Person A and person C may or may not go on and do business together depending on how many other potential suppliers were recommended and whether or not person A considered person C the best person to solve their problem.

Let’s look at how we make this a WIN for all three parties AND increase the number of potential referrals for person C at the same time.

  1. Make sure that person C is genuinely the right person for person B to refer business to – they must have the right values and ethics and professionalism for person B to be 100% confident in referring their clients or potential clients to them. (Skip this step at your peril)
  2. Make sure that person B is genuinely the right person to refer business to person C.  For this system to be effective person B and person C must share the same target market and person B must be in a position to see and recognise the problems that person C solves.
  3. Make sure that person B is absolutely clear on what makes an ideal client for person C.  These criteria must be clear and agreed in advance.
  4. Person C gives person B an add value gift that they can give to anyone they meet who fits the criteria of being an ideal client for person C (whether or not they express the problem).  This gift makes both person B and person C look great and adds real value for person A.
  5. Person B  then gives the Add Value gift to all of their clients or potential clients who fit the criteria at step 3.

Now we have a WIN WIN WIN.

Person A – the person with a problem (whether they know it yet or not) receives a valuable gift which (i) helps them solve a potential problem and (ii) connects them with a recommended provider who can help them solve the problem either now or in the future.

Person B looks great because they have provided a really valuable gift to person A

Person C wins because they have been connected and endorsed to someone who fits their ideal client criteria.

Here’s one example  – see how you might be able to make this work in your business and watch out next week for more examples of “Add value” gifts that will work for any professions.

A business lawyer gives all of his referral partners (typically accountants, business coaches, HR consultants etc) access to a legal health check which they can give to their clients as an add value welcome gift for becoming a client. The lawyer spends an hour with the client going through the health check and provides a report at the end. The report identifies any legal issues with the client’s business with recommendations and priorities. There is no sales pitch and no pressure.  Just an add value report which helps the client make informed decisions about the legal health of their business. 

Brenda Thomson

Brenda Thomson

CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group

Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business. 

Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.

Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference.  She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.


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