Pick Up The PACE™ in Your Referral Partnerships by Cynthia Greenawalt

Pick Up The PACE™ in Your Referral Partnerships

{4:38 minutes to read} The key to increasing referrals is increasing collaborative dynamics — and ultimately, the level of trust — between two people. One of the most powerful tools I’ve developed in my work as a social capital coach is the “relationship accelerator” called Pick Up The PACE. PACE is an acronym for the key areas to explore with your networking partners and potential referral sources. When using this tool, relationships can move rapidly through the Know You/Like You/Trust You progression (see my Progression blog article) necessary to unlock high-yield referral partnerships.

Let’s delve into what each of these four letters represents:


This includes the things a person is fond of — from black Labs, to playing golf, cooking on the grill, listening to live jazz, trips to see relatives in Germany — as well as the “why” that makes a person tick: the inspiration that’s behind what they do (be it literacy for children, animal welfare, preserving the Amazon rainforest). Passions are what light us up — and knowing these things about your potential networking partners (and them knowing these things about you) can be the most powerful force of connectivity and attraction to one another. Plus, when it comes time to say “Thank You” to one of your referral sources, you know what kind of restaurant they’d love a gift certificate from, or what kind of book or invitation they’d be thrilled to receive.


This can be summed up as what a person is most proud of personally (being the first in one’s family to go to college, raising 3 great kids, or running 3 marathons) as well as professionally (from being the top producer of the year in their company to opening their own law firm which is now thriving beyond their expectations). Sometimes it’s a victory in the form of overcoming an immense adversity. The key to this segment — the A in PACE — is to share your professional and personal achievements and to find out both from the other person. My clients have noticed how easy it is to be pulled by society’s industrial age programming and want to keep the “personal” out of it, when in fact it’s our personal achievements that often move us along the progression scale the fastest.


This element of PACE includes all the different circles and organizations we belong to, from professional and business groups to informal pockets of people who share a common interest (yoga, homeschooling, gardening). It could be an alumni association, a non-profit, or an athletic group of some kind. Often these communities utilize events to stay connected and expand their initiatives, so pay attention to the opportunities to invite and be invited, furthering the progression of the relationship-building process.


The final element celebrates what a person is striving for. The first three elements of PACE represent existing areas in a person’s life. The fourth one is about the future. It hasn’t yet happened, so it’s the most vulnerable of the four areas—and therefore crucial that it goes last. A person owns and stands strong in the first three elements of PACE. Endeavors include specific goals and commitments (both personal and professional), as well as dreams and yearnings not yet translated into concrete plans. After discussing Passions, Achievements, and Communities, a person tends to be more willing to share their most precious objectives (Endeavors) with you, giving you an opportunity to listen keenly for how you can help them with that which is most near and dear to them.

Take a look at your list of current and potential raving fans (whom I like to call your VIP’s and VIP Candidates). These are the influencers and connectors with great potential to be an important collaborator or gateway for your business. Literally a Power Partner. Schedule a cup of coffee with them. Let them know you’re bringing a powerful tool along, which has the ability to accelerate the collaborative dynamics between the two of you. Feel free to print off the PACE worksheet here and bring 2 copies along so you can both capture the information you learn from your potential collaborator.

Engaging in a half-hour PACE dialogue, ending it with a review of best take-away’s and action items, will reveal the next steps in your “courtship” of each other. And in some cases, it will reveal which relationships are lacking the necessary chemistry to “fall in networking love.” Focus on the people where it’s both powerful and fun — and you’ll be more profitable while truly enjoying the ride!

Cynthia Greenawalt

Cynthia Greenawalt

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