The rainy season is upon us here in Central Florida after a very dry winter. Suddenly everything in our yard that was dry and struggling is lush and green and blossoming.
Just like my landscape, healthy relationships require nurturing. If you’re intent on maintaining productive and blossoming relationships with those who help you feed your family, you have to honor my fourth and last rule for effective referral marketing: stay in contact consistently over time.
It’s not about “sales.” It’s about genuine relationship. Think about that personal friend who never seems to reach out to you, even though you regularly initiate contact. after a while you’re likely to give up, cross them off your list.
It’s the same with referral sources. Say “thank you” with a phone call, personal note or e-mail when that referrer sends you a prospect (even if they don’t hire you). Periodically reach out just to reconnect and find out what’s been happening in their lives, as a friend would. Keep the relationship warm.
After all, relationship marketing is, in the end, about building and maintaining an extensive group of friends who you enjoy connecting with, and who are happy to help you be successful. If you don’t, they are likely to forget you and refer to someone else, or even worse, proactively cross you off their referral list because they feel unappreciated or forgotten.
FYI, here are my four simple rules for relationship marketing, each of which, of course, has considerable detail behind it. But the basic concepts are simple:
1. Talk to the right people.
2. Build honest relationships
3. Make sure they know what you do and who you work with.
4. Stay in touch consistently over time.
It ain’t rocket science. But it does require focus, consistency and, most importantly, background systems and structure to achieve maximum efficiency and leverage.