The Key to Getting Referred by Other VendorsDec 03, 2020
Are you ready for it?
The best thing you can do to get other vendors to refer you to their clients, is for you to first offer to refer them to yours.
Let's start with a definition for reference:
Reciprocate: v. /rəˈsiprəˌkāt/
To respond to (a gesture or action) by making a corresponding one. ‘the favor was reciprocated’
There is so much power in reciprocating!
When a vendor knows that you respect and trust them enough to trust them with your own clients, they can't help but return the favor.
As you may know, my husband, Joe, and I have owned a couple of venues. I can't even begin to tell you how many vendors (in the hundreds, I'm sure) came to us wanting us to refer our couples to them, knowing that the venue is often where couples book first, and is one of their most trusted vendors.
That was fine, and we love having resources for our couples. BUT...
How many do you think asked us to be one of their resources? That's right... NONE!
Maybe they assumed that because we're the venue, that their clients already have a venue by the time they got to them. Maybe that's often true. MAYBE (for sure) reciprocation just feels good and there is a strong bond between vendors who are willing to refer to each other.
Definitely, anyone who asked to put us on their preferred vendor list, was going to the top of ours. Even if we haven't worked together yet, this act alone gets our attention.
Do this one simple thing, your competitors are not, I can almost guarantee it. It's such a simple thing that really makes you stand out.
There are so many benefits to having a relationship with other vendors.
Imagine having a dream team of vendors that you get to work with for every wedding. From day-of type vendors, like venue, catering, bar/beverages, decor, event rentals, planner, coordinator, photographer/videographer, DJ, HMUA, and other specialty items like photo booths and entertainment, to the other product and service related vendors such as travel agents, alterations shops, dress boutiques, gifts, and personal care services.
Wouldn't it be such a joy to get to work with that team every week? You know what to expect because you trust them and they trust you. You reciprocate for each other.
Let's look at it another way...
You have your dream team of vendors, right? If you're each excited to work with each other every week, you're also making things easier for each other, helping each other out where needed, and overall enjoying each other's company. If you're all referring to each other because of this, isn't that ideally going to keep your calendar filled!? It's magic!
What about making this same connection with a fellow vendor in your same services?
Let's say you're a wedding planner (or a venue, photographer, DJ... you get the idea). Why would you want to connect with any other planners, or for that matter, refer your treasured potential clients to them? You work hard to get leads, do you want them booking with a "competitor"?
The short answer, is absolutely yes! Let's break this down...
You get an email inquiry from a dream client, because you're awesome like that and you have your online presence set up to attract them.
One of the first things you're going to discuss with them is their wedding date, right? Because you don't want to waste their precious time any more than you do your own.
They give you their date, and you're super disappointed that you're booked. Now, do you want to just send them away empty handed? Of course not! They've entered your space, now keep them in your network!
Instead, you're going to refer them to a couple of different places. First, to another planner who you trust. Do you know how impressive it is that you're secure enough to send them to a competitor? Very! You must be very secure (you are).
What's the next thing that happens? That other planner who you trust and respect, and have referred to, now has a lead inquiring for a date that she's booked for! So what does she want to do? She wants to RECIPROCATE and refer that dream client to you, the same way you did for her! Win-win, community over competition, every time.
Now back to that couple who wanted you but you were booked. You referred them to a fellow planner, now also refer them to your "Resources" page on your website. You have one, right? It's a page on your website where you put other vendors who you you love and trust, that dream team that we talked about above. Your Preferred Vendor List.
You have been so awesome with this couple that didn't even book with you! You know what couples who are getting married have, right...? A whole circle of friends and acquaintances who are also going to be getting married! Imagine how impressed they now are with you, they're going to refer you to their people, even though they didn't do business with you!
By now you're starting to see the huge benefits of referring back and forth with other vendors, having a preferred vendor list, getting on other preferred vendor lists, and the power of reciprocating.
Aren't you ready to take your wedding business to the next level?
Sign up for our VIP membership, The Vendors Circle, today!
Signups are open until Wednesday, July 29, 2021.
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