• Nikki Buckelew

CHOOSING OUR TRUSTED REFERRAL PARTNERS: HOW WE DO IT

Updated: Apr 29, 2018



I wrote a blog a while back on how our team focuses on being educators and advocates before anything else and thought that those who read it may be curious as to just how we go about choosing which referral partners become a part of our trusted professional network of service providers. So, if you are curious, here is a bit about our process….


1. First we developed standards for the type of person or organization that we would consider as trusted providers in a variety of areas. As you can imagine, due to the nature of our business, there are lots of people, services, and organizations that may be involved in working with our clients from time to time. By having standards, we are able to weed out the chaff and only get into relationship with quality folks.


As you read the criterion for becoming an OKC Mature Moves trusted referral partner, you may be surprised to find that we are not just focused on services — we are focused on purpose and intention, as well as the approach and fundamental values by which people operate.


2. Next, we seek out and take in applications from people who want to be considered a part of our team. I say ‘team’ because if they truly are a fit, this is how we function…like a winning team. The application gives us basic information about services they provide, references we can call, and the applicability of their services to our clients. Step 2 is simply an information gathering process.


3. Thirdly, we meet with each and every potential referral partner personally. Depending on the company and the nature of their business, we may want to meet with only the owner or the manager, but sometimes we want to meet with their day-to-day service providers to insure that they too are a fit. We have learned over the years that managers and owners can be excellent spokespeople, but not necessarily excellent hiring agents or leaders of their own team.


In this step we are not only looking at what type of services are provided and how they provide them — we are assessing WHY they do what they do. Are they money motivated or people motivated — are they servant leadership minded or are they in business strictly for profit sake?


4. Following a personal interview and assuming they have met our What, How, Who, and WHY criteria, we seek to verify information such as insurance, licensure, references, and other pertinent details. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but when our clients count on us for only referring the most reputable and capable service providers and companies, we believe it is worth the effort and time it takes.


5. Last, but certainly not least, we closely monitor how our partners work together with our clients. Does this person serve our client as an extension of our team and with the same high level of service that we expect for ourselves? Are we proud to say we recommended them? As long as the answers to these questions are ‘yes,’ they continue as trusted referral partners. If not, we set them free and top grade by choosing other providers who fit the criteria.


You see, here at OKC Mature Moves, we serve in the role of coach and quarterback, calling the plays and leading the team. Each team member is masterful in his or her position and is able to execute plays on behalf of our client and the transaction effortlessly and flawlessly the majority of the time.



But let’s be honest here…even the best team or team member occasionally drops the ball, right?


While trusted referral partner selections are based on pre-established criterion, personal interviews, and favorable third party references, the reality is that the only way to find out if a team member is a fit in “real life” is by working together. When it comes to balls being dropped, it’s what team members do in response to missed plays that ultimately counts when it comes to whether they remain on the team or not.


The team members that get continued opportunities to partner with us are those who stand behind their work, their workers, and their outcomes, regardless of the challenges or missteps that may come up along the way. Those who make excuses, blame others for failed outcomes, or intentionally or unintentionally cause undue stress or harm (to a client or the transaction), get top graded.


At OKC Mature Moves, we aren’t perfect, but we have integrity and we do what is right — regardless of the reasons it didn’t go right. Our referral partners must do the same or they aren’t referral partners any longer.


It’s important to point out here that ultimately there are two criteria we weigh most heavily in our selection process — Integrity and Advocacy.


With the number of people, companies, and organizations out there explicitly devoted to exploiting the vulnerabilities of our elders, we at OKC Mature Moves have taken a stance. We don’t partner with just anyone.


Integrity

We know that there are times when the right thing for the client is in direct opposition to what is best for our own bottom line. There are also times that, through education, the information we provide may influence a client to make a decision that negatively impacts the bottom line of a referral partner. Our partners know (and concur) that the clients’ bests interests ALWAYS supersede those of our own.


Advocacy

Advocates, by definition, are “people who plead for or on behalf of another” (Dictionary.com). We at OKC Mature Moves choose to align ourselves with others who will fight for the rights of seniors in our community. Together, we stand up for injustices and we actively intervene — even when not required or asked — especially when an elder is at risk of being exploited or harmed in any way.


In Oklahoma, move managers are not listed specifically as “mandatory reporters” by adult protective services (APS) when it comes to vulnerable adults, however, the state statute says that ALL citizens are required to report possible neglect, abuse, or exploitation of vulnerable adults. It’s sad that this must be a statute — we as citizens and professionals should not need to be told to do what is right. Our trusted referral partners and OKC Mature Moves affiliates step up and step in when vulnerable adults are at risk because it is right thing to do and not just because we are told to do so.


Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our process at OKC Mature Moves and if we can ever be of service to you, please call us at 405-563-7101! If you are a service provider who caters to mature clients and their family members or caregivers, please join us in our efforts to educate, empower, and equip Oklahoma’s downsizing and relocating seniors by filling out an application and scheduling an interview!


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