Putting a system in place to capture referrals is easy. Delivering the service that makes you deserve referrals is hard! You have to deliver value to your clients and you have to articulate that value. What do your clients value?
The nice part is that if you make it your goal to get more referrals, your service will naturally improve as a result. It just gives you a different perspective. You will ask yourself “how can I deliver service worthy of a referral?” If you are successful at communicating and making this the goal of your staff, the service that they deliver will also improve as a result.
I sold a practice several years ago to a couple of energetic, pleasant accountants. At closing, I felt like the clients were going to like them. They were personable and excited about the practice they bought…very positive attitudes. (Their firm now prepares my business and personal taxes.) At any rate, I checked in with them about a year after closing and they had increased their business by about 15%. They did it almost all by referrals. They delivered good service and got in the habit of asking for referrals.
If you are delivering good service that your clients value, then you need to get into the habit of asking for referrals from your top clients. How? You develop a way of asking that you are comfortable with. The questions you ask need to be in keeping with your unique personality. It needs to feel natural over time. Here are a few suggestions:
- “I really enjoy working with you; we would love to have more clients like you. Do you know anyone that might benefit from our services?”
- “I always enjoy working with successful individuals. Please tell your friends and family about us.”
- “We are working to expand our business and referrals are a big part of that. Please keep us in mind if you know anyone looking for accounting or tax help.”