Referrals are often said to be the lifeblood of accounting firms. Many firms would deeply suffer without referrals. Without referrals, your lead generation would dry up. The lack of leads would result in no new sales, which would mean that your accounting firm would slowly die… But enough with the doom and gloom. Businesses thrive on building great relationships. And from great relationships come great referrals. If people remember to refer you.
In this article I am going to share with you how to get more referrals in your accounting firm by being more front of mind for your network.
The secret is, the more real relationships you have with your network, the more referral opportunities you are going to have. Getting more referrals is as simple as building relationships so people know you, like you and trust you. The more someone builds this relationship with you, and the more they understand what you do, the more you will be front of mind when a referral opportunity arises. This is why it is so important to keep in touch with prospects, clients and your network.
What Does Keeping In Touch Look Like?
The 90 Day Touch
This means touching base with your network every 90 days. For some people they don’t ever touch base with their network. They never reach out and “check in” to see how they are doing. If this is you then you are missing out on great opportunities. Can you imagine if you touched base with your network every day 90 days? You would always be front of mind if this were the case. But that sounds like hard work! I hear you cry… Well touching base could be as simple as sending a LinkedIn message. Or if you met someone at a networking event a quick email to check in with them and share something of value. It could be as simple as sending a card or picking up the phone. Touching base doesn’t mean lengthy 1:1 meetings with travel time and copious cups of tea and cake. It doesn’t mean battling the rush hour because you have been nattering all afternoon with no purpose or reason. A simple “How are you email?” can take 60 seconds to write. If you can get in front of your network every 90 days you will stay front of mind. Here are some other ways that you can keep in touch with people, without it taking hours of your time:
1) Invite Them To Come To An Event With You
As an accounting firm Partner you will be going to events. Whether they are networking events, local chamber events or industry specific events, you will be attending one or two on a regular basis. Why not invite your network to come with you? Will they come? Quite possibly not, but that’s not the point. By inviting them you have become front of mind again. So, whether they come or not doesn’t matter. It’s the thought that has mattered in this case.
2) Connect Your Network
You have access to hundreds of businesses that could do work together, and exchange referrals, opportunities and ideas. Why not go through your client and prospect database and see who you can marry up and get talking and supporting each other. One of the things we talk about here at TwentyTwo Agency is “experience”. If you can provide a great experience for your clients then they will remember you and refer you. If you are suppling your clients with opportunities other than “accounting work” then you will be seen even more as a linchpin to their success. If you are connecting your clients with each other you will stay front of mind. They will talk about you and you will get more referrals. A great way to implement this is connecting 3 people a day to other people in your network. This then makes you become known as “the hub”. When people know that you are a connector you will become the go-to person… which means you are always remembered. Which is the key to being referred.
3) Run Mini Events
I am not suggesting you put on lavish events for people, what I am suggesting is mini 4-people meet ups with those who have synergy. What this means is although you might be meeting face to face, you have cut your time by a quarter. One lot of 60 minutes rather than 4 hours.
4) Be A Referrer
When you touch base with people (for example in your 90 Day Email) Why not ask a very simple question “What Challenges are you having right now?”. This simple question will let you know what they are going through and will enable you to help them. You may be able to help them in your firm, or alternatively recommend someone who can help them. If their problem gets overcome they will feel indebted to you and you will be on their mind. By being front of mind you will get more referrals.
5) Know What Your Network Needs
You will meet people every day that can help other people. Someone somewhere is looking for help, and you know the person that can help them. For example:
- If you are looking for an IP lawyer you need to speak with Shireen Smith
- If you are looking for help getting a self-employed mortgage you need to speak with Gary Das
- If you want to publish a book you need to speak with Lucy McCarraher
- If you have a baby between 6-9 months who isn’t sleeping you need Tracy Newberry
- If you are looking for a Telemarketing Company you need to speak with Patrick McLaughlin
We all know such a diverse range of people. The more you build your network and support others, the more you will stay front of mind. How are you staying front of mind in your network? Because the more you stay front of mind the more you will be remembered, recommended and referred.
For more ideas on how to get more referrals in your accounting firm download our free eBook below.
P.S. When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you with marketing and growing your accounting practice:
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