You’ll know by now that I’m a big proponent of working in your ‘zone of genius’ – concentrating on the things you are best at, focusing on your unique skill, and outsourcing or partnering to achieve everything else. This doesn’t just make you more efficient, productive and energised, it is this strategy that can also provide you with extra opportunities to add value to your clients, profit to your business and increase the number of potential new clients who are attracted to you and your brand.
Consider this. Have you ever had to turn down business because a client asked you for a service you didn’t provide? Has a client then asked you to provide a recommendation for that service? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you are missing an opportunity every time this happens.
You don’t need to provide these additional services yourself to create more profit and also add value to your clients. Here’s how.
1. Consider your business - place it at the centre of a circle you draw on a page.
2. Now draw lines coming off this circle and brainstorm all the add-on services that are aligned to, but different from your own business.
3. Once you have listed the services that align to you (and that you don’t offer), google the providers of these services in your area (if it needs to be local) or more broadly (if online is fine).
4. Research these businesses well, and then once you are satisfied that they are professional and know what they are doing, set up a time to meet with them and introduce yourself. This is an easy approach - you are initially just starting a conversation that could be beneficial for them and their clients too!
5. Create reciprocal referral arrangements to generate additional income for yourself, your partners and an additional service for your clients.
By creating a network of aligned services and relationships with providers that you trust, you will generate additional value to both your clients and your business, not to mention your strategic partners and their clients. This goes both ways.
How it works
There are a few ways you can set these relationships up. You could have a reciprocal relationship, where you refer each other clients but no money changes hands; you could have a referral or spotters fee of a nominal amount; or you might agree to sharing a ‘cut’ of every job that goes ahead. If there is money involved, make sure to agree on a formal arrangement up front.
Do the numbers
To make these relationships work for you, make sure you consider how much you pay to generate other leads - paying $100 for a qualified referral could be cheap or expensive, depending on your business. This is where you need to know what it costs to run your business, what your profit margins are and how much you should be paying for leads (refer to my e-book for more information on how to do this).
Promote the partnership
Once you have set up these referral arrangements, you can implement a very simple, yet effective, strategy. Each of you promotes the partnership to your own client base, making sure it is both personalised (a photo of you doing business together is very effective) and genuine. Be clear on what that partner provides, and that you are vouching for their quality. This is about being transparent with your clients.
The win-win here is that it also increases the value you can add to your clients - trusted and vetted referral partners are sought after by your clients who trust you. The important point here is that you MUST ensure you completely trust the other brand you are promoting as anyone you endorse reflects on YOUR brand.
• If you structure strategic partnerships in a smart way, you can effectively generate additional revenue - seemingly out of ‘thin air’.
• Every time you get asked –‘do you know someone who…’ or ‘do you provide this product or service…’ these are missed opportunities!
• It costs nothing. Even if you pay for referrals in the future, this is business you never had before - just make sure that the numbers work in terms of your profit margin.
• Don’t think of this as a defensive strategy, but rather a growth strategy - if you don’t do this, others will.
• Don’t underestimate the power of referred business and broader networks than yours!
Need help? I’ve got your back!
If you need help
• Recognising your ‘missed opportunities’;
• Structuring strategic partnerships; and
• Growing a referral network –
click on the link below to book in a free 15 minute Discovery Call with me!
PS, if you have a burning question or a problem that needs a solution, contact us with the details and we will be in touch. Every fortnight we will answer a question for a reader as part of our case study series. Leave a message on Facebook or contact firstname.lastname@example.org