How To Get Started With Referral Partners

how to find business partners

Referral partners play such an integral role in online business, especially for those of us with a coaching business model.

This is something that I’ve been exploring with my VIP clients and I wanted to continue the conversation with you today by sharing the answers to some of the key questions that I’ve been asked recently.

#1. Who should I reach out to first?

In short: your network. 

Create a list of people you know: your family members; your friends; your colleagues; peers within your industry; and, peers within complementary industries.

Remember, this list doesn’t have to name all possible referral partners. Instead, this list contains people whose judgement you trust. Simple as that. 

For example, if you’re a chiropractor looking to collaborate with a massage therapist in some way, you don’t need an immediate list of massage therapist, just a list of people whom you trust that go to a massage therapist.

See the difference? This is key.

So often referral collaborations can feel a little forced because the connection isn’t truly there. Let them come about a little more organically such as in the way that I have suggested and watch magic happen.

From there, reach out and ask for recommendations. Once you’ve received their information, pen a note and start a conversation with your potential new partner.

#2. What do I say to a potential referral partner?

Tell them exactly what you’re reaching out and ask to set up a time to chat.

Include an introductory note sharing why you like their brand, how you feel your messages align, where the interests of your audiences and clients may overlap.

Remember, not every conversation has to lead to a partnership!

You might receive five recommendations, reach out to all five and perhaps only two will feel like a great fit.

That’s okay!

You’ve still gathered awesome knowledge from each and every conversation.

#3. Are there different types of referral partners & payment structures?

Yes. And, once you’ve found someone that you’re excited to work with you can figure out the how.

Here are some of the key types & structures:

  • mutual referrals {you are both simply referring clients to one another};
  • monetary referrals {e.g. for every person you send me I’ll give you 10% of my fee or a flat fee per referral};
  • service based referrals {e.g. rather than a referral fee, you could give the referral partner a session with you}.

Trust your intuition & explore what feels right with each individual referral partner.

For instance, service based referrals often work well for me when I know that I won’t be referring as many people to my partner as they are to me.

On the other hand, monetary referrals tend to work best when partners are referring individual VIP clients. Alongside the formal monetary agreement, I often include gifts and handwritten notes as a little extra to make sure that they really feel looked after and appreciated.

There you have it, bombshell!

In the comments below, tell me your experience with working with referral partners. I want to know what’s worked, what hasn’t and I’d love to answer any questions that you might have.




P.S. What a little more #StrategyWithSoul, bombshell? Check out my latest on How To Be Productive {the 3-step tool that’s been working a treat for me, my team and my VIP clients!}. 

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