If your auto repair business could do with some new customers, you should consider how other businesses in your local area might be able to help you.
Growing new business relationships can be rewarding and profitable, but you need to approach this in a certain way.
Perhaps you might ask the local car wash cafe if you can advertise on their counter or in the window, and in return you might offer to do the same in your workshop for them. Your two businesses are complimentary, and non-competing, so this could work well. They see loads of your ideal customer (someone with a car who is spending on a luxury – the car wash), and you have their ideal customer in your workshop everyday!
You should use the car wash or have a meal in the cafe to ensure you can refer them with confidence, and you should offer for them to try you out too.
If this starts to work well for you, and you are receiving new customers via the car wash, you need to let your new referral partner know how much you appreciate their referrals, and you should let them know each time you have successfully converted one into a paying customer. This is just good manners.
Now it becomes your turn to do your part. You must refer your customers to your referral partner. This is not a one way street, and your new referral relationship will quickly turn sour if you don’t put in the effort to help increase trade at the car wash.
Don’t sit there and take, you must give as well.
In the instance where another business approaches you and suggests a referral relationship, follow the same process above, and be absolutely thankful that this business owner has sought you out to refer business to you. This is not an everyday occurence, people usually dont go out of their way to give business, so when it happens, treat it like gold and with the respect it deserves.
So what happens if you are giving referrals and not receiving them back? Simple….re-assess your position. Try the direct approach first….have a conversation with your referral partner and ask if you can clarify for them what you do to make it easier to refer you. Ask them if they are having trouble referring you and why….it may be something simple that you can quickly rectify.
The worse case scenario is that your referral partner puts no effort into referring you, and has no intention of doing so because it is not a priority for them. In this case, cut ties and move on. Try out some other businesses where your ideal customer might be, and start again….there are others more worthy of your offer.
Your time is too valuable to spend it wondering why bad referral partners don’t give back.
Go out and find some fab businesses and get to know them today!