Nobody ever enters into a partnership of any kind lightly and it always needs to be the perfect fit for all concerned if it is to be a successful relationship. Whether it’s a professional or a personal partnership you always want to have the confidence that both parties are on the same page and striving to reach the same goals.
In a business partnership it can sometimes be difficult finding a new partner and that is why so many partnership schemes fall by the wayside and businesses go their separate ways. Even businesses who enter into a partnership through investment can find the going incredibly difficult and it often ends in a parting of ways, but not every partnership has to be this way.
There are examples of incredibly successful business partnerships everywhere you look, and some of the most successful global businesses started out small before entering into an agreement with another business to work together in order to reach their objectives.
Here at Meet Hugo we recently launched our own referral partnership scheme – Partner With Meet Hugo – where we invite a select number of businesses that feel right for us to join us on a mutual path to success; seeing both sides benefitting from the expertise and connections of each other. Our partners join us for no additional cost and receive a wealth of exclusive, expert material along with the opportunity to generate additional revenue through referrals which, in turn, help us to grow our own business through new subscribers.
What is a referral partnership?
Put quite simply, a referral partnership is a business agreement where one company generates new leads or sales for another in exchange for a reward in the form of commission or a discount.
The company or individual who refers one company to another usually has a pre-existing relationship with the business, or an individual within it, and will refer to the services of another business to help them achieve their own goals while benefiting from the referral themselves.
To give you a working example, if company A establishes a partnership programme and invites company B to become a partner, company B would benefit from commission when their business connection – company C – signs up to the latest product offering from company A.
This referral partnership has great benefits for all three parties as company A would have a new subscriber and the income that generates, company B would gain commission from the referral and the gratitude of both company A and C, while company C has a new system to work with to solve a pain-point. There is then the potential for company C to become a partner of company A in the future, and the whole programme can continue to grow from there through company C’s network.
The benefits of a referral partnership
There are usually a number of benefits to a referral partnership, and that is what makes them so attractive to growing businesses. Those with a wealth of business connections and the ambition to generate additional revenue and benefit from the assistance of their new partners are the most fitted to such partnerships.
- Access to business connections and networking opportunities.
- An additional source of revenue.
- Increased brand awareness.
- Improved return on investment for all parties.
- Improved client retention.
How to get the best out of a referral partnership
When you sign up to a referral partnership, or welcome a new business into your programme, you want to ensure that you both capitalise on every opportunity available to tick off all of the above benefits. If you’re not working together to achieve each other’s goals then it’s not a partnership, and more of a marketing gimmick that only benefits the ‘larger’ business who increase their little black book of connections.
In order to get the best out of a referral partnership you need to outline your business objectives and call upon the experience and expertise of both companies to get there. Here is a quick checklist to help you benefit from your partnership.
1. Sharing contacts.
Having outlined what you want from your partnership the best place to start is to provide access to the other company’s business network, or at least to start putting them in touch with relevant people who can help them to grow.
They may work in a vastly different industry to you, but being able to tap into their address book means you have access to business development teams and relevant contacts who you can start building a relationship with, and because it’s a referral from your new partner it benefits all concerned as it results in a new subscription or sale, as well as commission for the other side.
Forging new business connections has been particularly difficult over the last year with the cancellation of all face-to-face conferences and events, so being able to speak to business owners and interested parties that you’re introduced to by a business partner can give you the ability to reach out and grow your business at one of the most difficult times for new business growth.
2. Generating new revenue streams.
As the company who makes the referral it’s essentially free revenue when you introduce a business connection to a company you’re partnered with. It could be anyone from a friend or family member to the owner of a business you met in a bar at a recent conference – whoever it is, by introducing them to your partner and singing their praises resulting in them signing up, you can benefit from a share of the commission which can be every bit as good as winning a new piece of business of your own.
3. Retain more clients.
As the business running the partnership programme you will find that your client retention statistics improve when you get more companies signing up to your system or platform. Rather than having people who buy in and then leave a few months later, you can work closely with businesses who buy in and immediately get your system or platform and can’t wait to tell others about it.
This means that they remain subscribers for much longer and build a successful relationship with you, benefitting from exclusive content and the additional revenue, as well as helping you to onboard more clients which help you to grow rather than losing one client and gaining another without growing.
4. Get a positive return on your investment.
As the company initiating the referral partnership programme you get a much better return on the investment you make into marketing campaigns with each new subscriber or sale, all because your partners are doing a lot of the marketing for you by reaching out to their connections. This means you have additional revenue to work with which can be invested into the company or new, innovative campaigns in the future.
From the perspective of the company joining the referral partnership you can also improve your own investment in the product or service when you refer someone else, as you pick up a share of the commission which – essentially – is money off or money back on your initial investment. Add that to the money you might already be earning off the back of the subscription or service (such as work won with Meet Hugo) and your subscription will be paying for itself in no time!
5. Increase awareness in your brand.
Finally, with every new referral comes another company that learns about your business and what you do. Trying to get your name out there is vitally important at the moment to help increase sales and grow your business, so any ‘free’ marketing you can do is beneficial.
Reaching out to prospects on your own can go one of two ways, but when an existing customer refers you to their network it’s a sure-fire way of getting your name into the market and even into new sectors. They can also do this through a range of partnership collateral including website badges and email footer content which might mention that they are a partner of yours to every single person they send an email to, or who visits the website. Again, it’s free marketing and increased brand awareness.
Why Partner With Meet Hugo is More Than ‘Just’ a Referral Partnership
At Meet Hugo we wanted our own Partnership programme to stand out from the others in order to benefit every single one of our subscribers and partners. Sure, there is the opportunity to generate additional revenue and we’ll happily point you in the direction of some relevant business opportunities – that’s our bread and butter through sales intelligence – but we also want to guarantee that you benefit from our own expertise.
Providing exclusive, authoritative and expert content is just one of the additional benefits of Partner With Meet Hugo, enabling you to capitalise on new skills and turn opportunities and open doors into solid proposals, high quality pitches and more new business wins.
We also want to ensure that we constantly deliver the best for our Partners, and that’s why we want to offer a variety of Partnership opportunities ranging from becoming a Valued Partner all the way up to a Platinum-level Partner with each stage offering more and more for our Partners. If you want to keep referring businesses to our platform then we’re certainly not going to tell you to stop! In fact, we’re going to reward you with a promotion to the next tier and the benefits that come with that include an increased share of the commission and much more.
The opportunity to share, earn and grow only becomes more lucrative.