How to Effectively Use Your Referral Network to Sell a Service

September 30, 2022

You've got a lot on your plate.

If you're running a business alone, every single task - from bookkeeping to marketing - falls on you. That means your time is highly precious; time is always the scarcest resource for every small business owner! If you can find ways to buy back your time, you can focus more on growing your business. You can focus on the things that you're good at.

For some founders, sales come naturally. For others, trying to sell your service is like speaking another language. You stumble through sales calls and have a difficult time closing new deals.

You'd be golden if you could outsource or expand your sales team, but it seems you don't have the money.

Here's the truth: you don't need money to grow an incredible sales team.

You don't need employees, either.

Instead, you can create a sales force that is so effective it'll bring in deals to your business every month without you lifting a finger. By finding and working closely with partners that serve your ideal clients, you can provide more value to other companies and encourage them to sell your services.

Everyone is Overworked

There's a massive need for more qualified people in the accounting industry. CPAs, EAs, and other tax professionals are inundated with ever-changing tax laws and regulations that take up more of their time than ever. That means they have less capacity; they can serve far fewer clients than in previous years.

These industry-wide situations allow new service businesses to capitalize on many opportunities!

In our case, we're focused on helping tax professionals free up their time by taking the task of bookkeeping off their plates. Tax professionals now more than ever need time to focus on what they're most excellent at doing: taxes! By providing a high level of service to a tax professional's clients, a new bookkeeping service is creating value for both parties involved. The CPA gets peace of mind knowing that their client's accounting is done correctly, and the client receives more timely information than they would've when working with an overworked tax accountant.

In our bookkeeping example, we've identified a need for two parties: small businesses need their books done, and tax professionals are too overworked to keep up with the demand.

We've easily identified a target market (business owners) and an adjacent service provider that could benefit from our help (tax professionals). Our potential partners already have existing relationships with our desired customers. A referral naturally happens when they see a benefit for themselves and their clients.

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Replicating Yourself in Your Partners

No one knows your product as well as you do.

That simple statement is what makes building an excellent sales team difficult: you must be able to articulate what makes your product or service so unique! By understanding the value that you're bringing to the table (your value proposition), you can effectively communicate to a client or referral partner why they should be working with you.

You can replicate what you know in other people!

If you've identified referral partners you want to work with, you next need to learn how to effectively communicate the benefit you're bringing to your new partner and their clients. When your referral partner effectively understands why they need to work with you, they share that same need with their clients, making it much easier for you to close a deal.

There are several ways to incentivize your referral partners. The three most common methods of building referral relationships are:

  1. Exchange - Referring business back to your partners
  2. Compensation - Paying partners directly for referrals
  3. Life Improvement - Providing significant value to their business through working with their clients

Finding a way to generate new business in any industry can be incredibly difficult. By creating a tangible incentive for partners and educating them on why referring their clients directly to you is beneficial, you can quickly generate more business!

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Jeremy Millar
Written by:
Jeremy Millar

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