Co-incidence Or A Referral Community In Action?
Let me tell you a true story ...
POSTED BY JACKY SHERMAN ON 08/06/2016 @ 8:00AM
I love true stories, and I particularly love the stories my referral community tell me, that demonstrate the power of our collective actions to generate amazing business for each other ...
It a great story of how my referral community works together!
Here's a brilliant one I received this weekend from Roger Eddowes of Essendon Accounts and Tax. Roger went to a meeting to support Kath Bonner Dunham, a business coach, with financial advice for her client, a husband and wife team who run an events company.
The meeting went really well, and the clients confessed that they didn't have a strong enough relationship with their present accountant to turn to him for advice. They then said that although they were really comfortable with Roger, they wanted to talk to another accountant who a friend had recommended at the weekend.
Their friend, who runs a catering company, had been telling them how great their own accountant was as he had gone out of his way to give them a salary survey to show them that they were overpaying their chefs (they had not experienced an accountant doing this).
"Surprise, surprise the accountant they were talking about was Roger!"
An immediate new client for Roger then, but was this just a wonderful coincidence? It seems so, until you delve a little deeper into the range of people and their actions that made this happen.
It's actually a great example of my referral community putting into practice our methods with both major commitments and small actions reaping great rewards. It involved 5 major players plus the two clients.
How this works is rather complicated, so I hope you can follow the events:
First enter me. I have known Roger for years. First he was my fellow networker then he became my client learning all the techniques of referral marketing which he applies to a high level and incorporates into his work with his clients.
He spots opportunities to help his client through the expertise in his network. I also helped him set up his private networking club which gives an ideal venue for his network to meet and pass business between them.
Roger and I have become strong referral partners, and I introduced him to Kath Bonner Dunham and the other two players in this saga, Paul Green and Debby Clayton.
Roger and Kath have developed a productive referral relationship, and Kath had introduced Roger, independently, to both the clients in this tale. Both these clients, to quote Roger "hit the bulls eye" as his target market. Family-run firms providing high-end products and services to the luxury market who want an accountant who does more than just the end of year accounts.
I met Kath at NNcoNNect breakfast meeting a few years ago. In a one-to-one meeting. I mentioned the Essendon breakfasts and she asked for an introduction to Roger which I was happy to give. As a coach myself I knew her to be highly qualified and very accomplished at what she does.
At NNcoNNect, I also met Debby Clayton of HRGO, a recruitment company, and others in the group recommended her to me. She has since become a client of mine and we are deepening our referral relationship. I have developed a trust in her and was delighted to introduce her to Roger as he could help her with her target market, which is events and sporting organisations who use temporary staff. She came by my invitation to Rogers networking club to meet him. So, they are very early in their relationship.
Now I have known Paul Green the last of our players since I first started running my own business in 2003. In the last 4 years, I have been supporting him with his networking groups NNcoNNect. I recently committed to help him re-launch his group in Milton Keynes and recommended it to Roger. Roger attended one of the early meetings where Paul handed out Debby Clayton's Staff Salary Survey on her behalf. The very one at the heart of this story.
Thus, although Roger did not know Debby well he now had both Paul and myself, who he trusts, endorsing her work. In effect, he borrowed the trust we had in Debby to feel confident to share her survey with his client.
All these actions needed to happen for Roger to gain this client. They follow the stages of referral marketing beautifully and will, I am sure, build further introductions and support:
Developing a business and personal relationship based on knowledge and trust in the others services.
Clearly identifying a target market.
Choosing the right people who have access to your target market.
Applying 'giving' activities such as introducing, endorsing and promoting other's services in their absence.
Training your referral partners to facilitate the introduction.
Providing supporting collateral to help your partners.
Rewarding your referral partners. Roger's email and thanks to me.
The result for my referral community is that everyone benefits. The two clients have confidence in both their business coach and accountant to take their businesses forward.
Roger gets a new client, Kath has two happy clients, Paul has three happy members in his network groups (me, Debby and Roger), Debby gets her relationship with Roger off to a great start.
"And me? Well, this type of
outcome is huge!"
It reinforces that the methods I impart to others work. I have no doubt that these four people will go on to develop more work for each other. I also know that it will motivate them to refer more clients to me.
However, most importantly, it feeds right to the heart of my sense of purpose in my life and why I do the work I do. It confirms my belief that we are more successful when we work together as a community with a shared sense of purpose and ideals.
And have I made a difference to my corner of the world? Oh yes, this ticks all the boxes for me. If you'd like to learn more, then do call me on 07970 638857 and let's see how I can help your referral community work for you.
Until next time ...
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