How to build a referral network

How to build a referral network, COG Aggregation

Referrals can be a powerful way to bring in new leads to your business and deepen your relationship with other business professionals. Building a referral network is how you can make this happen.

Here are 3 easy ways you can start building your referral network today.

1. Consider your existing business relationships

As a finance broker you may already have business relationships with accountants, solicitors, marketing consultants, real estate agents and a host of other professionals. Taking the time to chat with them about starting a referral relationship can be a great way to begin building your network. And most business owners and professionals are keen to extend their referral networks. You’ll need to agree whether it will be a formal arrangement where fees are paid for each referral, or an informal one where you both share referrals with no fee.

2. Join a referral group or your local chamber of commerce

Your local community is one of the best places to build your referral network. Joining your local chamber of commerce or attending their events can provide a great way to connect with other professionals. It’s important to focus on building genuine relationships with professionals in industries that will complement what you do. There are also formal referral groups in most towns or cities that accept new members. They include BNI, The Referral Network and Business Referral Group.  Most of these formal referral networks require a paid membership to be part of the group.

3. Don’t be shy with your friends and family

No one likes a pushy friend or family member asking for business, but sharing stories about how much money you saved a client, or the rare piece of machinery you recently financed, can be a good lead in. By making your stories interesting and relevant, your friends and family will want to know more about your business. Once they get to know how you’ve helped others, they could be your biggest advocate.

Your referral network can quickly grow with a bit of commitment and investing in building genuine relationships with other professionals. A warm lead is a great way to start a relationship with a new client. It also means you’re adding value to your current clients by offering recommendations for help they might need.  You’ll soon realise which referral relationships deliver the most value, and you can spend more time focusing on these.