To be an effective networker, you should constantly be strengthening your relationships with referral partners. And what better timing to remind your partner of your agreement than at the start of a brand new year?
Just in case your referral partner has forgotten about your relationship, here are 7 things to do to.
Send a gift – Right after the holidays would be a perfect time to disguise your “gentle reminder” of your existence by giving a gift – however small or inexpensive. It can help build visibility and credibility with your referral source.
Extend an invitation – Invite a referral source to a holiday party, lunch or even just for coffee. It’s amazing how much you can update yourselves regarding your business direction in just an hour of sharing a simple meal. Use it as an opportunity to set new goals.
Invite him/her to a networking event to meet other potential connections – Introducing him or her to other businesspeople you know gives your source an opportunity to meet others in your target market. It may also provide new business opportunities for you both.
Refer someone to your partner – The start of the year would be a symbolic time to send over a referral to your partner. While most business people are clamouring towards the improvement of the business during the first month of the year, any referral or brand new business will be most welcome. Offer your referral source a referral he or she might find useful. Do it, and watch him/her reciprocate.
Call a referral source – The easiest and best way to remind someone of your existence is by speaking to him/her. An occasional, casual phone call is a good way to keep the relationship strong – when you take care to call only when it’s least likely to be an unwelcome interruption.
Send an email or text message – Whether it be a new business idea, or just to send over an article which you think may benefit your partner – an email is a great and subtle way to remind a referral source that you have an ongoing business relationship. And do it at the startof the year – right after a long vacation, while a partner’s mind and attitude are still fresh and raring to start the year with a blast.
Send a thank you card for the year that has passed – What better timing than to thank someone for their help to your business than the end of the year? Thanking someone shows your appreciation for keeping their end of the referral bargain, plus it encourages partners to help you even more – sine you appreciate all your partner’s efforts.