Relationships are built on trust and knowledge. Strong relationships require significant amounts of both elements. Every relationship, whether it be marriage, an employer-employee relationship, a friendship, or a business connection – all these survive and flourish simply because both parties trust each other. When one party makes a promise, he/she is expected to fulfill it. Even when no words are spoken, both sides to every relationship must have confidence in each other – the feeling that they are safe, and that the feelings and welfare of each party are cared for.
The same goes for every referral relationship – without it, you might as well kiss all your opportunities goodbye.Without the cornerstones of trust and knowledge referrals simply won’t happen. Especially when you and your referral partner put your survival and success in each other’s hands, trust is essential.
Below are 4 good reasons why your referral relationship must be founded on trust.
Trust is the foundation of every referral relationship
Trust is about integrity and expertise. The person giving you the referral must have trust in you as a person, that your word is your bond and that, above all you will take good care of the relationship you’ve been entrusted. Trust is also about expertise. The person giving you that referral must know that you have the skills and experience necessary to really help the other person. Would you want to be referred to someone if the person making the connection didn’t have this level of trust in the receiver?
At the heart of a referral is a transfer of trust that takes place from the referrer to the referred.
The very first person you, as a business person seeking a referral must do is to convince your own referral partner that you can be trusted. Why, because referrers qualify their referral. And for them to do that, you(as referral seeker) must convince your referral partner thatyou are indeed trustworthy – and that you will deliver, as you promised. If your own referral partner has no confidence in your abilities, then how is he expected to transfer his recommendation to others? When a person makes the mistake of referring someone who cannot be relied on, this will hurt his own reputation as well. Imagine being labelled “the one who referred me to a bad supplier?” Horrors.
Customers only give business to people referred to them by people they know and trust.
Customers also form relationships with their own set of contacts. They have a few people they rely on, a chosen number who help them meet their own needs. If, in case, these few trusted ones are not able to provide the services they are looking for, they will listen to the recommendation made by the people they already trust. These trusted people can refer suppliers they know who will be able to help. In short, the trust is transferred from the client to a third person through the referral of a middleman – “the bridge” connecting both parties. Your goal now is to convince that “bridge” of your reliability and trustworthiness, so that when some of their own contacts know of someone whom you can help, then he will recommend/refer you. Build up this connection by nurturing your own relationship with your referral partner. Take care of a relationship and it will survive and grow over the long term. Go the extra mile and do something unexpected and genuine when someone helps you – or for no reason at all.
Clients meet with the people they know and trust
All wise clients will only avail of the services of people they can trust, people they have proven their reliability. Let’s face it, no matter how desperate someone is, he/she will still first seek the help of those who have already established their trustworthiness. Your goal now is to be “the trustworthy one” that your own clients will view as their go-to guy, the one they can put their confidence on. And you become one after you deliver on your promises, give more than what is expected, and offer products and services which clients know they can trust.