Reciprocal Referral Partners – How to Build the Most Common Type of Referral Partner Relationship

Referral partners can really help you to increase your business — while you help them increase theirs. There are several types of referral partner relationships, and the most typical and obvious is the reciprocal type. Read on to discover how it works and where to find and nurture reciprocal referral partners.

A reciprocal referral partner relationship is easy to establish when your target customer and the other person’s target customer align totally. You might, for example, be offering complementary services to the same customer base. That makes for a really close fit and allows you to easily pass referrals back and forth. You might even share the same suppliers.

But where can you find these people? Look at your target customer and figure out what other services or products that they must buy that align with your own products or services.

For example, a computer network installer could easily collect referrals from the owner of a moving company, a commercial property manager, or even a security systems salesperson. These are all people who would likely know of someone who’s moving and could use the computer network installer’s services.

So spend some time to really think about your target customer and what other services they might use.

Here is an example to think about: a mortgage broker, a lawyer, a realtor, and a home stager all go together because anyone who sells a house will definitely need a mortgage broker, a realtor, and a lawyer. And if they want to sell their home faster and for more money, they could also use a home stager.

So that’s a foursome that can go together. But it doesn’t have to end there. A moving company, a yard clean-up company, and maybe even an organizing specialist might be able to fit in as well. They all work with people who want to sell their house, and so they could make ideal reciprocal referral partners for each other.

Franchise System Marketing For New Franchisees and Referral Networks Considered

Every good solid franchisor that has been in business more than a few years knows that their very best franchise buyers do not come from advertising and marketing, or from the Internet for that matter, rather they come from referrals from friends and families of those who already own franchised units. Therefore, it makes sense that all franchising systems set up referral networks so they can tap into this great inflow of new potential franchise buyers.

The most important thing to do to get this going is to tell all of your franchisees that you would appreciate any referrals that they could send you, because you wish to build a brand name strong and have a close-knit family. After all, the franchisee/franchisor relationship is much like a marriage, and you might as well keep it all in the family. Tell them of the importance for only great qualified buyers, thus, weeding out non-viable buyers for you.

As a former franchisor, I often ask our franchisees to hand out flyers at their locations for new franchise buyers. After all, I had always believed that if a franchisee gave good customer service, that not only helps them to more business in the future and referrals, but it also strengthens our brand name, in the minds of all the consumers, clients, and customers. Why shouldn’t his customers, be our customers, and vice versa? Indeed, we are all operating under the same brand name.

The franchisees use the brand name to get people in the door to buy products and services, and we used our brand name to attract high quality franchise buyer prospects. I often encouraged our franchisees to discuss the business with other people, as long as they were not competitors, and if someone was interested, to have them call me first, and introduce the potential future team member.

One thing I would warn about this strategy is that if you plan on paying referral fees to franchisees for those qualified leads that you have to disclose that to the franchise buyer, and therefore, you should list the franchisees that are helping you in this way in the FDD or Franchise Disclosure Document. If you are unsure how to do this you should contact a specialist in the franchising industry who is an attorney. Please consider all this.

Homecare Services – Selecting a Senior Homecare Specialist

Homecare services are a critical sector of the healthcare providers across the country. Selecting a reliable caregiver for the seniors in your life is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Getting an impression of a senior homecare specialist over the phone is nearly impossible. Take some time to do additional research so you can be confident in the quality of the care your loved ones receive. To save yourself a considerable amount of time and frustration, follow these guidelines when sorting through service providers in your area.

1. Determine your own level of involvement. Homecare providers range from full-service to referral agencies, while others put you in touch with private caregivers for hire. If you don’t have time to screen potential employees, work with a company that can match you with a reliable specialist who can meet your needs.

Full-service homecare services are ideal if you can’t be a hands-on employer. They will check caregiver references, handle finances including payroll, taxes, and workman’s compensation. They also take a great deal of responsibility when it comes to supervising the placement and continued success of a caregiver in your home. If you do have the ability to be more involved, you can pursue a private-hire caregiver that you may have learned about through a recommendation or healthcare group. Keep in mind that the background checks and interviewing of potential employees will fall to you, as will payment and insurance. A referral agency offers a middle-of-the-road option, and will handle employee selection and placement before turning over the professional relationship to you.

2. Be clear about your expectations. Before contacting any of the homecare services mentioned above, determine exactly what the needs of you and your loved ones entail. When will the caregiver need to be in your home? Be sure to make a list of duties that will fall to the caregiver, and highlight any specialized care that the senior requires. The more specific you can be, the better your chances of finding a qualified employee with whom you can develop a long-standing professional relationship.

3. Ask questions. Be inquisitive and ask as many questions as necessary to confirm the reputation of the homecare services you investigate. How long has the agency been providing in-home senior care? How extensively are employees screened? Can the agency provide references to you? If emergencies arise during or after work hours, how are they handled and who is responsible for contacting you? Are caregivers supervised regularly when working in private homes? Don’t forget to ask about payroll policies so that you are aware of how the financial aspects of the business deal will be handled.

4. Exercise caution and common sense. It is a good idea to meet with the caregiver in person prior to the start of any homecare service. You want to ensure that you find someone with a positive personality who you will be comfortable working with. Additionally, remember that this employee will likely have access to your home when you are away, so plan accordingly. Keep valuables locked away, and monitor your credit card and bank statements regularly.

Appropriate Referrals Or Loss of Patients in the Practice of Specialized Medicine?

I remember vividly when I was working in a large Community-based teaching hospital in the East-Coast of Malaysia that relatively few patients are referred in by the family physicians in town. On the contrary, many patients are referred out of town, in fact to the capital city many hundred kilometers away. This observation is not only made by me alone, but also the other specialists in the hospital.

Specialist practice of Medicine is very dependent on the referrals from the Primary Care Physicians or in some places called Family Physicians or General Practitioners. A smooth professional relationships between the Primary Care Physicians and the Specialists is crucial in a success of any healthcare system in the world. The Primary Care Physicians form as a gatekeeper to the health systems which in many countries are spiraling in cost due to increasing cost of tools and technology which are introduced into healthcare.

The issue of referral between doctors in any health service has been a controversy ever since the development of specialization in medicine. Specialization in medicine happens due to the explosion of scientific knowledge and the introduction of technology into the practice of medicine coupled with increasing demand to improve the outcome of patients care. As such,doctors are forced to focus their effort on to certain diseases or organs only in order to ensure excellent outcomes in treatment of the patients that they treat. Gone are the days when any doctor is expected to treat all kinds of diseases that affect any patient. One will recall a Western movie where there is only one doctor in a new settlement to serve all people in that community.

The success of specialized medicine as a system of healthcare depends very much on the appropriate referrals of patients from the primary care level to the specialists in the hospital settings.However, this process of referrals is affected by the fact most primary care services are in the private sector whilst most of the hospital specialists are in the public sector. The referrals of patients across these sectors of the economy may not happen as smoothly as is expected for obvious economic reasons. This is perhaps one situation where the practice of medicine by doctors is faced with a conflicting dilemma professional demands against economic considerations.

If the welfare of patients is paramount and central in any health service, the appropriate referrals of patients is the more important consideration than avoiding “loss of patients” by any doctor practicing in a system of specialized medicine.

The REFERRAL Pattern – Who’s REALLY Referring You and Why

Have you ever had a really good look at who’s actually referring you and been surprised to find it’s a handful of the same people over and over again?

Have you wondered why more of your customers or strategic partners aren’t referring you at all?

Even though you might have a great product or service and your customers rave about what you or your product have done for them, they may NEVER refer you. Think about it. Do you refer every product or service that you have had a great experience with? Of course not. The good news is that doesn’t mean working on your referral system is a waste of time. Instead try looking at your referral sources in a different light. If you can start to recognize their profiles, you may just find you can start to create a much more powerful Referral Marketing System and generate a flood of new customers!

Who will refer you?

If you are currently getting referrals, start looking at the people that are referring you the most. At first glance, you might not see any differences between them and other customers. In fact they may not have even been your best customer. Instead what you are likely to find is that they have one or more of the following characteristics.

If you have ever read the Tipping Point you might recall that Gladwell talks about these first 3 very powerful groups of individuals:

Salesmen or Persuaders– You can’t miss these charismatic people. You probably find yourself drawn in by their charm. Lucky for you, they are also naturally armed with powerful negotiation skills that cause others to want to agree with them. When a persuader mentions your product or service, he or she will encourage others to try it and they will.

Connectors – These are your customers that have a large social network and are happy to connect you with those networks; or share their experiences with your product or service with their network.

Mavens – These individuals are information specialists or people we rely on to provide us with new information, especially those around your particular product or service. For example a food critic for a restaurant would be an ideal maven and strong referral source, or someone who researches and downloads a large number of phone apps could refer a ton of people to a new business iPhone app.

The above can (and often are) combined with one of more of the following:

Raving fans – The product or service you provided has had such an impact on them that they just can’t stop talking about it and/or others have noticed the results.

Strategic Partners – Strategic partners share your same target audience. The strategic partners that will refer you the most (assuming they also have some of the above mentioned characteristics) are those that come just before you in the timing cycle.

For example, while real estate agents and movers share a similar target audience, because realtors tend to come before the moving company in the timing cycle of moving they will be able to refer more business to the mover than vice versa.

Friends/Families/Peers– Because they believe in you and want to support you, your friends, family members and peers will refer you. But don’t get upset if they don’t. It’s likely because they don’t portray any of the other above mentioned characteristics.

Others with a similar target audience – If a woman is pregnant and within a short period of time many of those around her also become pregnant, as a provider of baby gear you might find that this individual is referring you a ton because she is surrounded by others currently in the market for what you offer.

Doers– One of the reasons we don’t refer every product or service we come across is because we simply don’t have the time. Doers are those that will follow through with action, and tend to be efficient with their time. If they say they will send contact info about a great company, they will. If you ask for a referral and they say yes, they will give it. Others are more introverted and can be described more as thinkers. They may be less likely to actually follow through with a referral source or even refer you at all.

Here is a great exercise

In your database, start to identify your customers (and even prospects) by the traits above. Do you find that those with a strong combination of traits are also strong referrals? Can you now start to think of better ways to reach out to them and get them more engaged in referring you more?

At the very least, I hope this information also helps you forgive or understand why some of your customers aren’t referring you at all even though they raved about your product or service. It’s not because they don’t want to, they just may not be programmed to do so.