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How to Convert a Non-Paying Referral into a Paid Referral

Robin J. Elliott

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One of the questions that comes up in every talk, seminar or Boot camp I deliver, is the following: “I have been feeding people business and leads for ages and I never got paid. How do I change that now, without offending and alienating these people who are my friends?" It's a good question. First of all, as a decent, self respecting capitalist and business person, you should get paid. And secondly, we don't want to distance our business associates.

For years, you've been sending and referring business to people that has been worth, perhaps, tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to them. Now, you realize you have left a lot of money on the table unnecessarily. Here's the best way I have found to turn this situation around with tact and finesse. It works well. First, you identify the people to whom you want to continue sending business on the understanding that you will be fairly and adequately compensated for it. Then, you do some research homework (usually with their competition) to find out what their profit margins are so that your expectations are reasonable regarding the commissions you expect. These commissions could be once-off or an upfront payment with ongoing residual payments on all ensuing sales.

Once you are comfortable with the commissions you expect from referrals in the future, you set up a meeting with the person to whom you wish to continue sending referred business. At the meeting, you have a simple script to follow that won't upset the person. This is what you say, even if you have never received any referrals from this person: “You know, Bill, I have been having a good look at the Joint Venture opportunities in my business and I read something that really put me on the spot and I have to apologize to you. Up until now, I never offered you any compensation for any business you refer to me. I realize now that that is not fair to you. We all deserve to be paid for what we do, of course, and it was not ethical of me to accept leads from people without offering to pay a fair and reasonable commission. So, from now on, I will pay you 20% (or whatever is right and generous for you) on any business you send me. And of course, you will do the same, right?"

At this point, if he refuses to pay you for future referrals, or if he offers you too little based on your research, don't argue or fight. Simply agree and never send him business again. Instead, find someone else to refer your business to. Ascertain exactly how much he will pay you, how it will be determined, be specific, for example an exact percentage gross profit or net profit, will there be payments on all ongoing business or not, should he add taxes, at which point will he pay, will he pay weekly or monthly, etc. Confirm this in writing after the meeting. Also include what you will pay him!

This simple system can be worth a small fortune to you. Joint Ventures work.

About Robin J. Elliott

For more than 19 years, Robin J. Elliott has worked with thousands of businesses in over 49 industries across the United States, Canada, and Africa. He specializes in helping small business entrepreneurs build wealth and gain access to new markets and profit centers through Joint Ventures. Through his Joint venture Seminars across North America he has thought thousands how to create increasing, multiple streams of income without cost or risk and very little time.

Get Robin J. Elliott's FREE: “How To Grow Serious Wealth Using Joint Ventures" Mini-Course, and The Prophet of Profit e-Zine at along with video blogs, world class articles, free video, and access to top Joint Venture Partners at


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