I recently had my bathroom renovated. I live in a small townhouse in inner-city Melbourne so the bathroom wasn’t that big but I realised that to get the results that I wanted I needed to do a lot of explaining to the team who were renovating.
Everything from the colour of the grout to the way the tiles were laid out to where the handles were and where the fixtures were set impacted the way the outcome of the bathroom. Tonight I was admiring my new bathroom and how happy I was with the result and then I realised that the effort and planning that it took to get the desired result was not that significant but it made a real difference.
Had I not invested the time instructing the builder and his team about the desired outcome, I would’ve had a very different bathroom. The subtlety of the smaller finishes would have made the final product quite different and I doubt I would have been admiring the end result as lovingly as I was today.
So what has this got to do with referrals?
Having referral partners and expecting them to get you a perfect referral without giving them very clear instructions would be similar to me not communicating my expectations to my builder.
If you’re not clear about what kind of business you want, you’ll end up getting something completely different, which will no doubt lead to dissatisfaction.
We only have ourselves to blame if we don’t get the kind of business that we want from our referral partners.
So what can you do? If you have a new referral partner, you need to train them from the ground up:
Who is your Target Market
What a great customer looks like
The process you take your clients through to get them the end results
Your financial terms (pay upfront, account, credit card etc)
What problems to look out for and the common language that your target market uses to identify themselves as a potential client
Who you don’t want to work with and why
Where your past 10 customers came from
Obviously, this can take quite an amount of time, so start with the basics first, like discussing your target market. Over the next few meetings, start taking your referral partner through the journey of how you get a prospect to paid and happy client. Don’t forget to also talk about clients that didn’t work out well for you, know things will also help train your partners.
Like my builder, taking the time to train your team will ultimately yield a great result. Mistakes can be costly and time-consuming so if referrals are apart of your business, make sure you are clear with your referral partners to guarantee great results.