If your business is built on referrals, then you know how important it is to ensure you are front-of-mind with your referral partners. And what better timing to remind your referral partners that you still exist than at the start of a brand new year?
Too many people believe January is a waste of a month in business when, in fact, it is one of the most important to ensure a great year ahead.
Here are seven easy things you can do in January to remind your referral partners you exist:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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4. 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 in planning mode 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.
5. 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 (so long as to call only when it’s least likely to be an unwelcome interruption).
6. 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. The start of the year is a good time to do it, right after a long vacation, while a partner’s mind and attitude are still fresh and raring to start the year with a blast.
7. 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 – since you appreciate all your partner’s efforts.