Thursday 24 April 2014

Look After Your Introducers

If your business comes through introductions of some sort you will do better if you look after your Introducers. I am potentially a significant introducer. I see different people. I get to know about their business and their circumstances and I am trusted by my clients.
Those companies who expect some reciprocal arrangement - give me a customer and I will give you one back, have missed a point. It is unlikely that the two of us will have a stream of customers that is complementary or equal in numbers. Those who want to set up an Introducer's agreement have also lost something. The idea is of course that the agreement locks you in so that all your needs for their specialism will go to them with some small commission in return.
I have come to the conclusion that in most cases the amount of the incentive reward is of little consequence. I have colleagues who have a good product and offer a reward of £1000 for introductions. At that rate I ought perhaps to go looking actively for clients for them. 2 or 3 a month would be a useful income and quite achievable. Another colleague has a Health Care product that offers good commissions on policies sold and in both cases these things would be an easy conversation for me with my own potential clients.  
I have made introductions when it was completely obvious that it was appropriate. What is working against it is me, concentrating on my client and how I can help them with my own expertise. I do not want to pull out a list of add ons that I can run through. In short the other products are not my stuff.
Obviously for my own reputation, I want only to introduce appropriate clients but my point is that I do not remember to go fishing for leads either. So for me the substantial incentives are not the motivation. they are only nice to haves.
So if your business depends on introductions there are some key messages. Make your rewards good but let that not be the incentive. Encourage your Introducers by giving them work if you can. Establish your reputation amongst your circle as knowledgeable, affable and professional. Always respond to introductions and keep them informed of the progress and your appreciation of the business. Bother to find out who the introduction has come through if it is not obvious and then thank that person for thinking of you. Make sure you get on with and do the work properly for the client because you carry not only your reputational flag but that of your Introducer. Bother to catch up with them whenever you can. Support whatever they do. If they write an article make sure it goes out through your facebook/twitter/linkedin as well. If they just send out one tweet  then support it if you can and retweet it.

Bob ShepherdAssociates will show you how all this fits together with the marketing of your business.

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