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Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

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Engage Your Referral Partners In The Vision For Your Business

Motivating others to invest in your success ...


Posted by Jacky Sherman on 14/02/2024 @ 8:00AM

The great quotes stand the test of time so here's a good example: Steven Covey's definition of the vision for your business is, ''What the world looks like after you've finished changing it?''. And no matter how small or large your ambition, you know that you can't do it alone ...

Why not get together with your referral partners and define the vision for your business?

Why not get together with your referral partners and define the vision for your business?

copyright: ammentorp / 123rf stock photo

To achieve what you want you're going to have to motivate others to invest in your success. These people then become your stakeholders and have a vested interest in your success.

They include a wide range of people from staff, clients, suppliers, business partners, shareholders and financial investors. And if you're applying referral marketing techniques, your referral partners.

As the purpose of this blog post is to give tips on referral marketing, I'm going to focus on this group, but the principles can apply to any of the stakeholder groups. If your referral partners are to play their role in your success they need to engage with your vision in three key ways.

  • Intellectually - At a basic level, people need to understand what you want to achieve. After all, you are asking them to identify people who need or can support your organisation.

    Here's a great Vision statement. I chose it as a great example of simplicity and also because it is highly aspirational, but not contentious. "A world without Alzheimer's disease." is by the Alzheimer's Association. At a deeper level, they need to be able to relate that vision to their own experience. There are many diseases that are curable so, in theory, curing Alzheimer's is possible.

    Can you provide supporting evidence that your product or services can deliver that? For instance, the Alzheimer's Society has a whole page on its website explaining its research programme. While they are open to innovative ways of looking at the issue and not afraid to take on the controversy (Football and Brain Disease), they are not advocating extravagant claims of a wonder drug to be found in some remote part of Borneo that only works if prepared by the light of a full moon. Ok, that's an exaggeration, the point I'm trying to make is that you must be credible.

  • Behaviourally - What do you want them to do to help you and is it possible for them to do that?

    Asking for something too big, or sometimes even too small can be a turn-off for many people. So ask your referral partners for something that is relevant, achievable and, well yes, flattering.

    Returning to the Alzheimers' Society again. If you worked for them fundraising, your referral partner might be able to put you in touch with companies looking for their Charity of the Year, but not able to introduce you to any billionaire philanthropists looking for a cause to support. Alternatively, they may not want to ask their billionaire uncle to run a coffee morning for his friends.

  • Emotionally - Your vision statement needs to touch them emotionally. It needs to be something they can relate to that gives them that punch of excitement or a sense of fulfilment that they were part of achieving that.

    This emotional level of engagement with your vision is what people will commit to. Does this mean they need to have the same driving force as you? Each of us has our reasons for wanting to see a change in our world. However, the people who are likely to relate to your vision are likely to share similar values.

    Returning to our Alzheimers' Society example again, someone may have personal experience of someone in their family with the disease so want to prevent others suffering or give back for the support they received. At the other end of the extreme they may be excited by being part of the scientific adventure, or just being involved in something that will have worldwide implications for good.

    However, all are likely to have core values around philanthropy, equality, and optimism. Finding the right emotional trigger for each referral partner will be the key to getting the support you want.

So to sum up, when choosing referral partners share your vision with each other; do you understand and agree with each other's vision at an intellectual level? Have you both got agreed plans for your contribution to make this a reality? Does this fit with how you want to change the world? Does it excite you or give you a sense of satisfaction in participating in something worthwhile?

Why not arrange a one-to-one with one of your referral partners and explore your visions together?

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

I'd love to hear the result, and if you'd like to know more about creating the vision for your business, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 07970 638857. Let's have an initial chat over a coffee and see how I can help.

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