Top Hack for Getting the Best Channel Partners
To be a successful producer, you must develop systems that work for you when you’re not at work. One of the best ways to do that is with channel partners. Today, I will talk to you about my hack in getting the best channel partners for you and your agency.
You are Missing Opportunity
If you’ve ever heard me talk in person, you’ve heard me say that I would rather not make ten calls to get one appointment but, in turn, make one call to get ten appointments. That’s figurative in language, but it’s honestly true if you understand how to leverage the power of channel partners to refer business to you. This is an area that I think that many producers could get better at because they don’t apply themselves. The truth is the beginning, and low-hanging fruit is right there in front of your eyes every time you meet with one of your clients. Today, I will give you my hack for how I begin channel partner relationships and precisely why I do it the way I do it.
Identifying the Ideal Channel Partner
The number one way I identify potential channel partners is by simply asking my clients. I ask them whom they buy from for various services and commodities in their organization. I want to know who these people are because I understand that if they are calling on my client and getting hired, I got hired by the same person. So there’s probably some synergy, and they’re probably pretty good at what they do. So I want to ask my client whom they buy their payroll from, where do you buy their credit card processing from, where they get their office supplies, where do you get their office equipment, where do you buy their IT services, all these things.
Filtering the Good from the Bad
I ask them the most important question I can once I get the answer to whom they’re using, and that is, would I get along with this person? Do you think that this is somebody I should roll with? If they say yes, I know I’m in good. If they say no, my client’s just done me a favor. But if they say yes, I next want to ask my client if they’ll please give me an email introduction. I want that person to hear from my client why they should spend time meeting with me. If I can get that to happen, the next thing that’s going to go down is we’re going to meet for coffee, and we’re going to establish the rules of the relationship.
Rules of the Relationship
BNI and networking groups get it right, and producers get it wrong. We put together these referral relationships, but there’s never accountability, and there are never requirements. My requirements are straightforward. I will meet with you one time a month or every other week. But if I meet with you once a month, you’ll come into that appointment, and you’ll have two booked appointments with your clients for me. I will have two booked appointments with my clients for you. Not, “Hey, David’s going to call you; please be expecting his call.” I’m talking about a booked appointment with their client who knows who I am, what I do, and what I’m there to talk to them about. If we meet every other week, it’s one for a total of two per month. I reciprocate and do the same thing for them.
Now we understand what the rules are. If they show up once and don’t have two booked appointments for me, they get one Get Out of Jail Free card. If it happens a second time, they’re out. Accountability and expectations must be established on these relationships’ front end. These high-performing salespeople call on the same size and shape accounts as you. There’s no reason why they can’t meet what I consider to be a very reasonable expectation.
If you can follow this framework, you’ll have a dozen channel partners over the following year. Every time they talk to somebody, they also represent you if you have the proper accountability and expectations set up on the front end. Do this, and not only will you make a ton of money, but you’re going to kill it in commercial insurance.