Now, the companies and people you are referring have to be incredible, and you have to be as well in order for any of this to work! You don’t want to put your reputation on the line for someone else, and vice versa, if it isn’t going to pay off. Therefore, if an issue does come up, it needs to be addressed immediately. Make a call for the customer to the owner and try to help the process if there’s an issue.
We also try to work with not just one company, but a couple of great companies in our market, saying, “These are the best I know of and have had great luck with them.” It’s important to refer, but it’s still the client’s responsibility to do the homework to make sure that the companies you are referring will work for their particular needs and circumstances.
After getting to know these other companies and deciding that you are compatible, it is time to engage in “full adoption.” Make sure you have referral cards for the companies that you support, so that it’s easy for the client to leave your store and go pick out their cabinets immediately. Host an event together. This way, you can have shared costs and contact lists to draw the widest variety of clients and get the best turnouts. You may even want to share leads with each other or discuss projects that you are both working on and see if someone has a contact to help you get on a job.
The social media component can also be important. Follow all of your adopted companies on Facebook and Twitter, and interact with them. For those of us who have trouble figuring out what to post and what to say, this is a great way to create content for your page and to show that you are engaged with your community. When you share their stories and they share yours, it can help to build your community even further.
We family and local businesses must stick together! The economy continues to get better, and we are poised to capture as much business as possible, with a little help from our adopted friends!
Jeremy Smith is the showroom director for The Studio at Central Arizona Supply, with stores in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise and Flagstaff, AZ and Las Vegas. Smith has worked with his family’s business to develop The Studio into a cutting-edge showroom with the latest products in beautiful showroom environments. He is on the board of directors for OMNI Luxury Products Group and the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association (DPHA).