This month’s guest blog is written by Judy Bond. Judy is a Business Relationship Consultant. She works with small business owners helping them and their employees work more effectively as a team. Judy and I met through the Heartland Coaches Association. She is not only a colleague but someone I trust and believe in. I'm very pleased to highlight her this month and share what she is doing.
Going it ALONE…OR…. PARTNERING WITH OTHERS
Whether you are a cook, a business coach, an accountant, a home remodeler – there are certain areas of your craft in which you are an expert. There are some areas where you can get the job done, but there will be some ‘issues’. And there are other areas where you simply don’t have the skills or experience the project demands.
The concept of ‘partnering’ is difficult for us – we think – “I don’t want to be giving business to my competition.” Or, “They won’t handle this client as well as I will.” Given that there is only 168 hours in a week – you can’t afford to be working outside of your area of expertise.
Your client isn’t expecting you to know it all and do it all! They are expecting you to guide them to the solution to their problem.
Often, you know someone who has the needed expertise and you give your client his or her contact information and “hope it works out”. You are missing the opportunity to ensure your client’s satisfaction, and to be compensated for passing along a solid lead.
Make a list of those associates who might be on your list of qualified referrals. Now, before the opportunity arises, contact them and ask them if they are interested in a referral arrangement. To get a better understanding of their process, you might get a couple of references – past clients that you could contact. If appropriate, perhaps you could observe their interaction with clients. You must be willing to provide the same opportunities to your potential referral partner. This is a good opportunity for you to let your potential referral partner better understand your areas of expertise. Draft a “memorandum of understanding” for how you will work together or mutually refer potential clients and compensate one another.
Of course, you won’t be able to plan out all your referrals in advance. But, next time you are ready to refer someone, call the expert and work out a referral arrangement before giving them your contact’s information.
I have found partnering with others to be a successful marketing strategy.
I present workshops helping people understand themselves and others. Believe it or not, people may not understand how this will help them in their business! But they do understand how improving their pricing strategies or follow-up skills or their pricing strategies will help them be successful.
Along with an expert in helping you develop an appropriate pricing strategy for your service-based business, Barbara Ziegler of Business Solutions Resources, I present a workshop “Building Your Business on a Solid Foundation – Planning for your Pricing and People Puzzles”
Partnering with an expert in improving your marketing results, Becky Rawls-Riley of Operating Sooner and Becky Bags, we present a workshop called “Fixing Your Follow-Up Failure”. Job seekers have also benefited from this workshop.
Once participants see my part of the presentation, they begin to understand the value of the information that I share with others and how I can help them and their team to be more successful.
Would you like more information about understanding your clients and customers? Do you think you might like to be a referral partner, or a co-presenter for a workshop?
If you found this article beneficial please feel free to share it. And if you'd like to know more or contact Judy you can contact her at Judy.Bond@bondteaminc.com.
I really enjoyed this article by Judy and I hope you did too. Remember being a business owner is not about going it alone. It's about figuring out what will help you be successful. Look around you for possible resources that can help you grow your business. Building strong relationships will always help you.