I am a business consultant and when I first joined BNI I hoped I would get a ton of qualified business. Don’t we all???!!!! The key I learned (and was told) was that I had to work to create meaningful business relationships. The problem was, “How do I identify who those relationships should be with and how do I create them?”

I learned that the magic occurs when two companies’ business clients’ overlap and the topics discussed during the course of a normal business meeting are also similar. The magic is really special if when one business sells something the other referral business partner will also benefit. So now the referral partnership is leveraged.

So how do we identify these strategic partnerships? Target accounts and Golden Goose accounts are the names given to key groups of customers and other businesses that we connect with:

  • Target accounts are businesses and individuals that are bread-and-butter clients. In my case Salespeople, Entrepreneurs struggling with sales and Business Owners who want to grow and expand their businesses in sales and/or profits. I coach these people to solve their sales and marketing problems to achieve their goals.
  • Golden Geese are those businesses where the relationship is leveraged—the more I do my job the more they are needed and vise versa. In my business these folks are web site designers, advertising people, media people, printers and, believe it or not, commercial insurance people because they are always prospecting and are trying to help their clients grow. When I refer or get referred by one of these businesses we help the client get more sales, which reinforces the mutual success. This often results in the client using more of our collective services.

So how do you identify who would be a great referral partner for your business?

It all starts with a one-to-one.  Select the businesses in your chapter or in other chapters that have the best shot at calling on the same businesses as you and discussing similar topics. Have one-to-ones’ and ask about their target accounts and golden geese. Listen and identify the overlap (shared accounts and topics) the more you identify the better and BOOM!!! Your referrals given and received will soar along with your closed business.

Herm Haffner of Total Solutions works with entrepreneurs, sales people and business owners to increase sales. Through One-on-One Coaching he gets the business focused on the most profitable areas and helps get sales closed doing what ever it takes.