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8 Ways to Strengthen Referral Relationships

8 Ways to Strengthen Referral Relationships

8 Ways to Strengthen Referral Relationships 1024 684 Vellum Mortgage

While there isn’t one “best” way to solidify your connections with referral sources, you can take a number of actions to build goodwill and credibility in those relationships. Here are 8 examples that should give you some ideas.

  1. Arrange a one-to-one meeting. Meeting a referral source in person is an excellent opportunity to learn more about his or her business and interests. Prepare questions in advance and to ask lots of questions about your source’s interests.
  2. Send a thank-you card. A handwritten thank-you card makes a great impression, especially in this age of electronic communication. Be sure to write a personalized note that mentions what you’re thanking your referral source for.
  3. Send a gift. Like a thank-you card, a gift — however small or inexpensive — can help build visibility and credibility with your referral source. Try to find out what his or her likes are (such as favorite foods, hobbies, etc.), and send a gift that is personalized.
  4. Call a referral source. An occasional, casual phone call is a good way to keep the relationship strong — when you take care to call only when it’s least likely to be an unwelcome interruption. Sending an article, especially one that is pertinent to your source’s current business or personal circumstances, reaffirms that you are thinking about his or her needs.
  5. Extend an invitation. After you’ve met at least once, inviting them to participate in some type of recreational activity, such as a golf outing, fishing trip, concert or play. This can be a good opportunity to let your referral source see a different side of you in an informal setting.
  6. Nominate them for an award. Local service and civic organizations often present annual awards recognizing contributions to a particular cause, and local periodicals often sponsor awards contests for business people. Find out which groups and interests your referral source is involved in and check to see if there is a form of recognition associated with them.
  7. Include a source in your newsletter. Even a brief mention of a referral source in your newsletter can pay dividends down the road, including the opportunity for them to reciprocate the favor in their own newsletter.
  8. Turn the table. Offer your referral source a referral he or she might find useful. By helping build your source’s business, you help create a debt of gratitude that will encourage your source to respond in kind.

To be an effective networker, you should constantly be strengthening your relationships with referral sources. The best way to go about this, of course, depends on each individual referral source and what he or she responds to.

Source: entrepreneur.com