Episode #48: How to Be an Amazing Referral Partner (and Get More Leads) with Terra Bohlmann
The Fast-Track Woman Podcast: Episode #48
How to Be an Amazing Referral Partner (and Get More Leads) with Terra Bohlmann
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Meet Podcast Host + Business Strategist, Terra Bohlmann.
Terra Bohlmann in a business strategist who helps female entrepreneurs accomplish in one year what would normally take five-years. As the creator of The Business Map Method™, she has crafted over a hundred custom business models for clients who have gone on to build six and seven-figure businesses.
Through her speaking, training, coaching, and live events production, she's impacted thousands of female entrepreneurs across the United States and Canada. Terra has been featured in publications and podcasts including Forbes, The Huffington Post, and The Sigrun Show. She's also the host of The Fast-Track Entrepreneur Podcast with Terra Bohlmann.
She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, three boys, and spoiled rescue dog and cat. Terra's forthcoming book, The Fast-Track Entrepreneur: Create Your First Class Business with Clarity and Confidence, is due out in 2021.
About this Podcast Episode.
In this episode, Terra Bohlmann shares how to be an amazing referral partner and get more qualified leads.
She talks about how referrals work on both sides - the person referring and the person getting the referral. She shares a personal story about what happened to her as a natural "connector" and how it can help you.
Terra also gives her secret resource on how to discover how you and others love to receive appreciation. If you are ready to get more leads (85% of new leads for small businesses come from referrals), you'll love this episode.
To schedule your complimentary fast-track session, simply visit TerraBohlmann.com/consult
Resources, Tools, and Links Mentioned in this Episode.
Read and Download the Transcript for this Episode.
Intro (00:01): When you give smart women a five-year plan, simple business strategies and a positive mindset. It's amazing how fast your business can grow. Welcome to the fast track woman podcast with your host and business strategist, Terra Bohlmann. She helps women business owners stop winging it and board the fast track to success. When she's not making high flying dreams, the reality you can find her traveling to random destinations, desperately tracking down Chanel, broaches, or sipping overpriced coffee drinks. Her purpose in life is to help you build a profitable first-class business, smooth out the bumpy ride, and finally have more time, energy and freedom. So buckle your seatbelt because this episode of the fast track woman takes off right now. Welcome back to the
Terra Bohlmann (00:53): Track woman. I am Terra. And today we're going to talk about how to be an amazing referral partner. And this is something that I'm just super passionate about, and I always have been, so I've been business coaching for over 10 years now. I can't even believe it, time flies so fast. And one of the things I, a statistic I heard a long time ago. So one of these things that just kind of stuck in my mind, you know, we all have those things that just stick in our mind and it's what it was. Most small businesses get leads and get their new leads from referrals. And once I heard that, I was like, Hmm, that's pretty awesome. And if it actually, the number is 85% of new leads for small businesses come through referrals. It's like, wow, okay, all this money you can spend on marketing, which, you know, there, you definitely need to invest in marketing.
Terra Bohlmann (01:53): But at the end of the day, if 85% of new leads come to small businesses through referrals, why don't we have a referral program with a referral program? You can generate even more qualified leads. And we know people who refer us, they're passionate about what we're doing. And that referral that lead is higher quality because somebody is putting their good name on the line to refer you. That's why, when I'm working with my clients on the business map method, which is the, you know, the step, the step-by-step strategies that you need to put in place in your business so that you can really scale it for growth over the next five years, one of the sections is having a customized referral program. And what that means is you always have something to talk to people about, right? So if you meet somebody, they're not a good lead for what you're selling, but they may know people.
Terra Bohlmann (02:59): So then you could say, Oh, Hey, I know we may not be a fit to work together. Or, you know, they've talked about maybe they buy another product or something like that. It's like, I get that. You're not in the market for what I have, but if you know anyone, here's what I do for people who refer me and then you can give them a referral perk of some sort. So on our side, we need to have a referral perk that we give people who refer us, right. And then have a system in place for that. But on the other side, if you refer other people, so I wanted to do this podcast episode, which is about how to be an amazing referral partner. And it's both sides, a partner being you and then the other person, right? It's a two way street here.
Terra Bohlmann (03:47): And what I find fascinating is, you know, cause I'm a natural connector and refer and I, when you meet, when other connectors meet other connectors, it's like, Oh my gosh, we're just in our own little excitement, heaven and whatnot. And connectors are a special breed of people. And you know, a connector, you may be a connector or if you aren't one, because it's not a natural thing, you know, a natural connector. They're the person that's always like, Oh, you need to meet so-and-so or have you tried this? Or I just bought this and Oh my gosh, it's so amazing. You know, and they're doing this because they are truly excited about working with the person and are buying the product or whatever. And so they're just talking about it because they're super passionate about it. They're not expecting anything in return, right. They're just excited and wanting to share, they're connecting people with something new or they're connecting other people.
Terra Bohlmann (04:44): Like you may go to a dinner party or, you know, some sort of holiday party and you meet someone. And they're usually like the social butterfly. That's like, you know, never going to let someone be standing in a corner by themselves. They're going to go grab you and say, Oh my gosh, come meet. So and so like, here's what you have in common. I do this all the time. Like I'll I'll know two people and I know their commonality, so I will like put them together and I'll be like, Oh, by the way, she has twins and you have twins and how cool is that? And then they just get talking about their twins and then I'm happy that they're connecting and not standing in a corner. And then I can go walk away and go work my magic to the next people. So that's a natural connector.
Terra Bohlmann (05:28): And when you meet a natural connector or if you are one, you want to, you want to love on them, right. Because they could be huge advocates for your business. And I call it like having an invisible Salesforce right out there you know, telling everyone about who you are and what you do. And those people who are natural connectors. And not that they're expecting something in return, but why not give them something in return? It's the nice thing to do. So if you naturally connect someone, you know, it's like, you may not ever hear anything more about it. Right. But you may want to know like, it's, what's really cool when you're, when you're interacting with a connector, they love nothing more than to kind of, they kept in the loop, right? So this whole episodes about how to be an amazing referral partner, if you're not a natural connector, that's okay.
Terra Bohlmann (06:30): Like it doesn't make anyone a horrible person or anything. It's just a personality trait thing, right. It's either comes naturally or you have to try at it or you just don't even think about it. That's fine. It doesn't matter. This is no judgment zone. You fit in one of those three buckets usually. And so if you're not a natural connector and you don't really think about it, but someone connects you, what a connector would love more than anything is two things. One either acknowledgement, like thank you so much for telling, you know, so-and-so about me. Just want to let you know we're talking next week and thank you again. I'll let you know how it goes. Like they love to be kept in the loop because there's nothing more satisfying than knowing the connection you made, how that impact the two people. Right. And, and so you want to, you can keep them in the loop and just acknowledge and thank them if you want to be extra and take it to the next level, give them something, Oh my gosh.
Terra Bohlmann (07:23): The things that I would do for a $10 Starbucks gift card, like yeah. It's just one of those things, but my love language is also guests, right? So I like to hit on all the different love languages as much as I can when I'm working with referral partners. So, you know, mine happens to be gifts, but I have a lot of clients who are words of affirmation or quality time and, and whatnot. So you can kind of take a look at that. There's a fantastic book by, I believe it's dr. Gary Chapman that's called the five languages of love. I was gifted this book when my husband and I were getting married by a friend that I was working with and I read it. And that just really gave us so much of a foundation for our own marriage, which is really cool. So the five languages of love is one of these things that you can bring into your business.
Terra Bohlmann (08:13): But instead of thinking, in terms of love, I was talking to a friend about this name's Jennifer and we were just sitting and chatting and she's like, you know, rather than love, like why couldn't it be the five languages of appreciation, right. Cause we don't want necessarily in business talk about love so much, but it's the same thing. So from an appreciation standpoint, you know, you want to find out how people feel appreciated and then give them back the thank you and their love language, not what yours is. So what I was finding, I was doing with my fiance at the time I was mine's gifts. So what would I do? I would go to the mall and buy him a shirt, or I would pick him up something. Or I was trying to express love for him by buying him presence, which him, his like I'm married to an engineer.
Terra Bohlmann (09:01): If that says anything, it's kind of like, they tend to be a little like 50. They don't love a ton of things. They are just very like quality over quantity. And he would be like, Oh, thank you. And I, it wasn't until I read the book that I was like, Oh, here I am, you know, showering gifts because that's how I feel love. And it didn't mean much for him. Right. And on the flip side, so his love language is physical. Like, you know, a lot of men. So it's like, he would have been much happier with, you know, a hug or whatever. So it's like, versus me spending my money on him, who knows. So from a love language standpoint, you know, he was also thinking, Oh, he holding my hand, giving me kisses. And, and like, it's not that I said, I didn't like that.
Terra Bohlmann (09:50): But man, if he would just buy me, I think I told him once, you know, just, you know, buy me a pack of RACI cups when you're at the gas station. And I feel like you just gave me like the biggest president ever. So people who have a love languages of receiving gifts, it's not that we have to have like the fanciest gifts. And that's what he always thought was like, Oh, well, so I have to buy, you should hope roaches all the time. You know? I'm like, no, it's not that it's just, it could be anything. It could be. I picked up this flower that was in the grass because it's just, it's receiving something tangible is how we feel that. And you know, and of course I've been through enough self-development and whatnot where it's like, was it weird that receiving guests as my love language is like, you know, does it make me materialistic?
Terra Bohlmann (10:38): It's like, no, actually it doesn't, it's, it's just how I was raised, you know? And like and just kind of naturally in all of us. So we don't need to judge anyone who has a specific love language anyway, I digress. But thinking of, if you haven't read that book, I recommend definitely reading that book and then incorporating that from a business strategy into your business. Because as women business owners, we like to show appreciation. We like to be able to let other people know that we care about them and that we appreciate the step that they did for us. Right. And this also goes into your team. If you have people who work with you, that kind of stuff. But in this case, we're talking about referral partners and how to be an amazing one. So if you're a non connector or if just, it may be, you are a connector, but somebody actually does something right.
Terra Bohlmann (11:32): For you to bring you a lead. Yeah.
Terra Bohlmann (11:35): Best way to be in the best graces of a connector that will continue to do it for you is to acknowledge it is to keep them in the loop. And I'm telling you go a little step further, whether it's giving a small commission or buying a gift or getting a, you know, gift certificate to a spa or could be lunch or something, do something extra. And that person will continue to be fantastic referral partner to you. And I say this because as a connector, I sat down and I don't usually sit down and calculate how much business I've given somebody. But I had a former friend who I want sat down and calculated that I sent over a hundred thousand dollars of business too. And that's just what I knew. And that was, that was based on what I purposely set that way. Not counting other leads that she may have generated at, you know, other circumstances and things that she hadn't told me about or whatever.
Terra Bohlmann (12:37): And, and it wasn't like I was sitting there going, well, let me put that in my back pocket. But it was just kind of one of these things. It was like, huh, she's never sent me a lead. Or she's never even, I don't know, like asked me to, you know, I don't speak at something that she's doing or ever shined like a spotlight on me, but yeah, I'm continuing going to send her leads. Like this felt very uneven and it actually was part of a demise of a friendship, but you know, that's good. Like some, I'm a big believer that God puts people in our lives for a reason or a season. And in this case, that was, that was it. And I learned a ton from that friendship and whatnot, but you know, it's looking back. I thought, wow, how could this have been different?
Terra Bohlmann (13:28): And it was like, Oh my gosh, like as a connector, we don't even need a ton back, but it's just keep us in the loop on how it's going, because what happens for a connector? Who's connecting you as a referral partner and they're saying, Hey, you know, I just want to introduce you to so-and-so, she's fantastic. She's got the best product or offer. And I think you would really benefit from it. And then you walk away and then two things usually happen. One you would step in and be like, wow, thank you so much, Terra, for connecting me, you know I'll send you a separate email and then you send another email like, Terra, thank you so much. I'll keep you in the loop on how things are going. I'm like fantastic fingers crossed, you know type of thing. Like that's the one way it should go.
Terra Bohlmann (14:13): But in some cases you do these connections and then people don't do anything with them. And it's so embarrassing. So it's like, so-and-so meet so-and-so and dah, dah, dah, and then that person never follows up. And then, you know, you have to then see that person that you are, you referred. And they're like, I never heard from so-and-so. And you're like, really? So then all of a sudden you're have to like, Hey why didn't you reach out to so like, it gets really awkward and even taking it a step further where sometimes the connection happens. And then that person that you referred had a horrible experience working with that person, or they buy the product and it was broken or whatever. And then it's like, kind of, it's your good name and reputation that's been on the line, right? This is why I'm saying we got to treat our referral partners really good and try to always make everything right.
Terra Bohlmann (15:08): Because we're putting our reputation on the line as well. Right. And same thing goes with you as if you're a referral partner. It's like, you're putting your reputation, which at the end of the day, what's super important for all of us, right. That we're building trust. We have integrity all of our core values. It's like, we want to make sure that it's, it's a two-way street on both sides. And so for, even for people who refer me, I tend to do a little extra for that person. I'm like, Hey, since you're a friend of Amy's, I'm going to do this and this and this for you. You know? Cause that means a lot. I want them to go back and be like, Oh Amy, she did this. And then she even did this extra. And like, thank you, you know, I want to do right on both sides.
Terra Bohlmann (15:53): So it becomes a balancing act, but there is no greater reward than getting referrals because you're an amazing referral partner. So that's what I have today around how to be an amazing referral partner. You know, it just becomes around, make it a two-way street. Also, if someone refers, you refer them or if you don't even like, maybe you don't know and you don't feel comfortable referring them, simply ask them what you can do for them. Thank you so much. What can I do for you to say, thank you. Is there anything you need from me? I mean, I talked to like girlfriends who I haven't spoken to in a few months and you know, and at the end of, I was like, what can I do for you? And I don't mean it in a like, Oh, do you want to work with me? No.
Terra Bohlmann (16:41): I mean truly, how can I best help you right now? And sometimes they'll be like, you know, I'm just having like a crappy week. Can you just keep me in your prayers? Or sometimes it's like, you know, when it comes to so-and-so, you know, our conversation was enough, right? Like who knows, but just ask people. And if people, if you ask them, they usually ask you and then you could say, you know what, I've got a referral partner program. And if you know anyone who's looking for insert what you sell and you connect me via email, I'm going to do this for you. Right. And I found that money is the easiest thing to transact, like a commission, you know? So whether it's usually the industry is around like 10% unless it's like a digital program. And then it's usually like 50% or whatever, but like that's more of an affiliate program.
Terra Bohlmann (17:32): And later on I'm in the season, I'm going to have a podcast guest. Her name is Laura sprinkle. Who's amazing at that. You know? So I'm talking strictly like partner programs of, you know, kind of, one-on-one like cheek to cheek kind of relationship-based ones, not, not formalized per se, but but just something to talk to people about. And the last thing I wanted to share with you is if you do consultations, so in order to work with you, maybe you have to have a conversation with someone if they're not a fit that's okay. And remember, you can let them know about your referral program. So you may not get a customer, but you might make a referral partner. That's going to continue to talk about your products and services and bring people to you. So that's another great opportunity. And when you start working with a customer, you also can tell them that your relationships new and exciting at the beginning.
Terra Bohlmann (18:32): So it's like the best time to remind them of your referral partner program is at the beginning. And then while you're working with them, and then when you're transitioning at the end of your terms of service with them. So there's three opportunities to be able to share your partner program. And it doesn't have to be anything complicated. It can be super simple. And sometimes it's just, it could be a $25 gift card in some cases or a simple, you know, $10 or Starbucks card, you know, 10% commission that you send via PayPal. It could be, you know a signature like on-brand thing. Like I send you a thank you kit, which maybe has like a mug with their logo. And some like, there's all kinds of things that you can do, but you want to do it in alignment with your average price point, right?
Terra Bohlmann (19:24): Like you don't want to, if your, what you sell is $25. You don't want to give a hundred dollars gift certificate, right? You want to do it within reason. So you want to determine, you know, how much you can afford from a, a thank you like a referral perk. And then you have to, your job is to let other people know about it so that you can then reward them. And then of course you have to track it. So there's a whole referral system that needs to be in place. And so earlier when I was like, well, it's nothing fancy. It is a system. It just doesn't have to be complicated. Like you could literally track this stuff on a spreadsheet if you wanted to. So I don't think you have to have a big complicated system around it, but you do need to track it so that you're remembering to, you know, send what you promised and, you know, keep people in the loop and stuff like that.
Terra Bohlmann (20:11): So just remember 85% of new leads for small businesses come from referrals. So why not make having a referral perk part of your business model and your marketing strategy and the people that come through referrals, the sales cycle is so much lower and shorter than it is. If you are doing Facebook ads or take getting really cold leads and doing things. So it pays for itself in the end. So that's what I have for you today. Be an amazing referral partner. And don't forget to check out the fast track club. It's the Facebook community that I have, where I can continue to serve you. And we do some fun things and whatnot in that group. So you can just go to facebook.com/fasttrack club and request an invite and join the free community so we can keep these conversations going. So until next time, take care and remember to fast track your business. Bye.
Outro (21:21): And there you have it. Another jam packed episode of the fast-track woman podcast, don't forget to visit terrible men.com, where you can get more business tips and strategies learn how we can work together to accelerate your business success or access this podcast. Episode show notes with a full transcript and links to resources mentioned today. And if you enjoyed this podcast, I invite you to leave a review so that we can help serve more women business owners to like you until next time here's to owning your time and valuing your work.
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