Business Alliances for referrals?

Lately I’ve been considering the value I could conceivably get by allying my business with other, related businesses that could bring me referrals (and the other way around, too). The businesses I’ve thought about are contractors/new home construction, deck building companies, window installation companies, gutter repair, and the like. Anyone else tried this? What specific businesses did you target and how did it work out for you?

Good roofers and landscapers work for me.

Those are good ones. Forgot about another obvious one – realtors.

The difficult part for me is putting my name out there with a company that I’m not certain holds my same standards and business practices. One wrong company and the damage could be disasterous. On the plus side if you could find a select handful in each category that you would personally put your name on their business, it could be a real win/win IMO.

A roofer we met at a former BNI chapter gave us a lot of work last year. As did a maid company (though, mostly window cleaning).

Aritt, It’s worth the risk and not as damaging as you might think. If you really aren’t sure just pass along the contact info to the customer and not a full on endorsement. If the co messes up, apologize and never refer them again. People are usually appreciative that you even tried to help them, as long as you do your job right another co probably can’t hurt you.

Thanks John! I just had a close friend who is a painter cost me a job because he didn’t follow through with what he said he would do. Then he did it again to one of my family members. That was my one and only experience with that type of deal so it burnt me. That job I lost was over a grand. For a new guy just getting started, that hurt. It’s not like I won’t refer other contractors but you can rest assured I will have no doubts as to how they do business.

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That sucks, screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me.

Exactly

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I tend to only endorse companies I trust will not get me in hot water.
If I’m just trying to do a customer a favor and can’t personally recommend some service I make sure I preface it that way.

Sorry if this is an offshoot of the subject, but how do you handle it if you’ve been recommending a company who has also used you for their location(s) when they stop using you?

I had been doing a glass company’s windows for probably 25 years and they shelved me about a year ago, saying when things picked up they’d call me back. In the meantime someone, probably, an employee, has been trying to maintain them. But it may possibly be a pro. Right on the borderline.

I don’t think I want to recommend them anymore. My goodness, I was charging them $50 per visit and that was a pretty good deal for them if you ask me.

I would personally stick with them, unless of course you have a have a really good reason not to. A 25 yr relationship might be worth saving, man any relationship that could make me money or bring me happiness is worth working on and saving. I tend to do the opposite of what my emotions tell me to do. In this case i might just simply agree with them. Agree first, yes i understand things are slow (or whatever they say) and because of our long standing relationship i will be here for you and continue to refer your co. If i referred leads to them then i may bring that up and how i’ll continue to do that for them, just consider me for the next opportunity that comes up to both use me again or simply refer me leads back. I would like to continue this relationship. Old custs are cheaper to find than new ones. These exact situations remind me to step up my game and stay in constant cantact. If it doesnt work for me immediately i bank on it eventually paying off and in my experience i found it has.

Thanks for the reply, Anthony. They have given my name out for a long time and they claim they still are, at least about 8 months ago when I last saw the owner at another location.