Enlisting other sellers who sell to the same prospects as you to help you find and connect with quality prospects has been a staple of marketing for top producers for decades—and unsuccessfully imitated by countless others.

But it isn’t as simple as appointing each one partner. You have to help each other to support the referral relationship and keep it strong. How to do it? Here are a few tips.

Give each other some projects

When you are already feeling overwhelmed with the quantity of work you are flooded with, send some of the work over to your referral partner. It will be a source for additional sales for your partner – which they will never forget. Let this be a reciprocal strategy.

Make sure you are in a “give-and-take” relationship

Sellers and companies need the same thing you need—business.  If they need someone to make them look good or to help one of their clients, they have no problem finding dozens of sellers willing to help.  What they need are reciprocal relationships where the people they refer clients to also refer prospects back to them.  They need partners, not moochers.  And if you’re not giving back in kind, that’s exactly what you are—a moocher.

Stay in Touch

It is important to maintain frequent and personal contact with those who send you customers. Keep them posted of new services you have available and clearly communicate the value you offer their patients. Reach out with a phone call or email from time to time, or perhaps arrange lunch appointments or invite referring colleagues to attend a seminar, and follow up after the fact. The rule is to just keep the communication channels open.

Show Appreciation

It’s important to thank your referral partners, but current practices typically lack a system for consistently following through. Simple acts such as sending occasional personalised thank you notes, holding “appreciation events”, and sending a personal note and gift, such as delivering plants to key referring partners can create a strong impact.

Keep each other in mind when preparing marketing collaterals – online or otherwise

Always include a link to your referral partner’s page in your own web page – especially if it’s for the answer to a service you cannot provide – and vice versa. Always include your partner when you prepare your flyers and do your own sales pitches. Keeping each other in mind is a great way to show each other that you are always giving each one the attention you both agreed on.