How to Get Referrals from your “Friendors”

By Paul Santiago

Networking comes natural to some people, but everyone takes a little time to warm up to new people in the industry. It’s a craft that we have diligently honed and improved in our business. So how can you create meaningful vendor relations and ultimately generate referrals?

1.  Nurture your vendor relationships

Before you even need your fellow vendors or before you even ask for help, keep in touch with your friendors. You may send notes or greetings from time to time, call to catch up with them, invite them to lunch, be genuinely interested or help in their business or do anything just to cultivate your connection with them. Get to know their business model and ideal clients, and if you happen to find a client that fits their services, recommend them. 

Social media is by far the best way for us to keep the connection with our friendors (wedding vendor friends).

In this way, by the time you need help, they’ll remember you and will be more comfortable to give information about their clients that you’ll be able to help.

2. Be polite

Since you might not have close personal relationships with some of your valuable contacts, it could seem inappropriate to just give them a call and ask them for information on their business. 

Sometimes, sending a note in advance, or asking to meet them for lunch is a better way to ask them how your business can help them.

3. Listen to them

 Be polite and interested in what they are saying. Who knows, the information that they are giving may be valuable to you in the future. When we lunched out with fellow vendors, it was great getting to know what services/packages they offer and bounce off ideas. 

There are times that your contacts may give you tips on what manner will work best when you talk to your potential clients and tell you what qualities and qualifications the potential client is looking for.

4. Ask what you can do for them

Instead for business referrals, ask them what aspect of their business needs help with. I cannot stress this enough, ask what you can bring to the table. 

Solving a problem for a friend will make you unforgettable.

5. Refer them to others

The best way to earn trust, is to give it. Make sure you refer the people who you want to be your advocates. Connect people, support their business, and they’ll more likely support your business, too. 

When your friendors had a great experience working with you, they will refer you over and over again. It’ll be easier for your friendors to refer you to their clients when you take all of these into consideration.

When your fellow vendors give you referrals, most likely they have told their clients a bit more information about you. Make sure you treat each referral like gold. Your friendors are vouching for the quality of your work and services, DO NOT DISAPPOINT THEM. 

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