Square Pegs, Round Holes – how to develop referral relationships

If you’re a specialist in any industry, you provide a concentrated, high level of service or skill and by definition operate in a restricted space. With any restricted space, there are restrictions. Imagine that!

One of the major restrictions with specialization is lack of new business at some point depending on various factors including: location, client demographic and/or saturation of a particular market. What do you do at this point?
– Stay the course and operate in the status quo?
– Expand your knowledge-base and tackle new segments of the market yourself?
– Partner with other specialists in your area and across the country to expand your service offering?

Whats the answer?
For many, developing referral relationships or partnering with another local professional(s) is either a great solution or not in the cards. Those that are open to partnering and believe in the concept first need to find a right fit within whom they partner. This is by far the most challenging aspect of a potential partnership. Most professionals don’t have the time nor the patience to go through a courting process with one of their peers of a complimentary service offering. Most don’t have the ability to trust another local professional in the same field for fear that theft of clients may occur. While this is a valid reason to be suspect of another local professional, it’s not a good enough reason not to attempt a partnership. There are a few things to take into consideration. First, don’t partner with an individual or group that does the same thing you do. Thats not a partnership, you’re simply sending them new business. Second, things need to make sense. If it is not blatantly obvious that there are synergies and major prospects in partnering, don’t do it. Partnerships should benefit both sides of the equation and promote overall growth for all involved. Third, follow your gut instinct. If it feels right, go for it. Put the proper safe guards in place. Go slow and make a valid effort. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

What does it take?
Effort – Partnerships take effort, especially in the beginning. If you wish to expand by partnership in the hopes of developing a referral system, it will take effort to get in sync with your new partner. If you’re used to being the lead in every conversation or situation, you may need to take a side-seat to the person you’ve partnered with as they, in hopes, are a specialist in their area of expertise as well and deserve the chance to shine and do what they’re there to do. Two specialists shining together have far more potential for continued growth with a multifaceted service offering than those with a lesser or one-sided offering. Bundled services are the future and you can have multiple partnerships!

Transparency – The more transparent you are to start with your thoughts and intended direction of a partnership, the better. The faster you get to working together or moving on is vital for the sake of time. Not all specialists are team players, and thats ok. The faster you can identify this and move on, the better. When you find someone that you work well with, it simply happens without much effort. Some things are meant to be and typically feel right from the start.

Communication – Everyone is different. Some of us are great communicators and others simply were not blessed with the ability. Getting into a rhythm is what it takes to create a continual referral relationship with another industry professional. The only way to hit that stride and progress to success is to practice the ancient art of saying whats on your mind. Don’t hold back. We don’t have time for that.

How do you get started?
– Contact your Broker Dealer or RIA and express interest in partnering with local affiliated reps.
– Become part of online communities focused on partnering and/or succession planning.
– Use Social Media as a tool to identify other local professionals and contact them with your ideas and intent.
– Contact Olympus!

The Olympus Companies has a focus on advisor/agent match-making! Contact us to open a relationship with another local financial professional today!!

Visit Our Website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *