Wednesday, December 23, 2015

3 Ways to Get More Referrals for Your Business

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Statistically, there are no better clients, customers, or patients in business than those who are referred to you.

Referred clients come to you having been told by a third party that you are the person to contact. Essentially, the “selling” process has already been taken care of for you. The potential client is essentially looking for fulfillment on the promises made by the person who referred them. Your job is to live up to those expectations.

Another benefit of referrals is that they tend to be of higher average value than non-referred clients. There is less resistance to the prices you charge and more compliance with the process of handling the legal issue. This means more money and less stress for you.

It is obvious that more referrals for your practice is a good thing.

But there’s a secret to getting referrals that is often hidden from business owners. Most business owners have been taught, “Just do good work and the cases with come.” The idea is that you will get more cases over time as people refer more to you. That’s a pretty slow-moving train of success.

Instead of waiting for referrals to trickle in, you should be creating a steady stream of referred cases. Here are three ways for you to start generating more referrals for your practice:

  1. Make Referrals Part of Your Culture– This isn’t a wishy-washy, happy-go-lucky concept. The idea here is to integrate language encouraging referrals into everything you do. New clients should know that you love getting referrals. Stationary you use could have a brief statement about how to refer a case to your office in the footer. Whenever you talk with another attorney, don’t forget to discuss referrals with them. Make referrals a highlighted part of your practice’s general existence. The more importance you give to referrals, the more referrals you will get thanks to how many opportunities you are creating to draw in more referrals.
  2. Create an Email Specifically About Referrals– Try making contact with business owners in your area to build referral relationships. Email is a quick and easy way to open the lines of communication with people about referrals. Send it out to a group of business owners in your area (you can usually grab email addresses from their websites). Try sending 5-10 emails every week. If you give each one a custom feel by commenting on something you liked on the attorney’s website, you’ll score a few points as you try to establish the relationship. Make sure you follow up every few weeks until you start hearing back from your prospects.
  3. Turn Referrals into a “Program”– Develop a step-by-step process that you can show to other business owners to really encourage referring clients to your practice. Include pieces such as how the referring attorney will be notified when you accept the case, how they will be updated, how you handle the ethics requirements, and how payment to the attorney will be handled if allowed in your state. Giving structure to what can often be a loose verbal agreement makes the referring attorney more confident in how you handle the process. Now you have your own “Program” for referrals at your office, which can be an impressive marketing tool.

The smartest choice you can make right now is to make the cultural shift.This shift will change the behavior of people in your office and will modify how others perceive you and your practice. You can move from occassional referrals to constant stream in short order just by being known as a practice that handles referrals professionally and responsibly.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

5 smart strategies to grow your executive network

From AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987

Google ‘networking’ and ‘CEO’, and you’re served up a plethora of events across the globe where C-suite executives have the opportunity to grow their professional network. It’s all very well to attend these events, but how do you get the most out of them and then continue to nurture the networks you build?

If you’re looking to deepen your professional network – and leverage the vast benefits that such relationships afford – here are five things to keep in mind.  

1. Take the time to reach out

As an executive, you’ve no doubt got access to a strong network of professional peers – fellow board members, clients, investors, analysts and more. You need to take the initiative to keep these relationships current, which can be hard when your calendar is crowded with meetings and events. Don’t wait until you need something to reach out. 

2. Find great matchmakers

We’re not talking about Greg Evans here. Your perfect match when it comes to networking may be your accountant or banker – someone who knows a lot of other people and can potentially introduce you to a valuable new business partner. This way, you can focus on managing your micro-network and they can cast a wider net for you.

3. Show your worth

In today’s fast-paced business environment, people are less likely to connect with you if you don’t have anything to offer them. If you’re confident that you want to connect with someone, make the first move by offering up support or advice to them. They will be much more likely to reciprocate down the track. 

4. Use technology to your advantage

While nothing matches face-to-face meetings to strengthen relationships, technology is now a vital tool in the networking process. Many believe the gold standard for executive networking is LinkedIn. Here, you could find groups that are relevant to your business, participate in these groups and make relevant connections. You could also maintain connections via Twitter, or create a blog to share your learning with peers. Identify which tools work best for you, and use them to your advantage.

5. Remember, it’s not about selling

No matter what your agenda or why you want to connect with another professional, remember that networking is not about selling. You won’t get far if you try to push a product or service in front of another executive’s face. Instead, at the C-suite level, you should be building legitimate professional networks that are mutually beneficial – you really can help each other solve business problems.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

How Financial Planners can get more referrals

But many financial professionals are not getting their share of referrals says Stan Mann 
Mostly because they are not leveraging the most powerful marketing strategy for advisors – referrals.
According to the Schwab Report: "The fastest-growing advisors saw growth rise five times faster than all other firms because they excel at delivering "the client experience" and as a result get more referrals.”
These fast-growing firms generated an average of 36% more new clients from referrals than all other firms, said Jonathan Beatty, senior vice president of Schwab Advisor Services.
Beatty said the fastest growers understand their specific value proposition and ideal client profile, which makes them better able to generate more referrals through strong client relationships. "The client experience floats all the way through the system," he says.
The client experience is the key. The better your clients experience you, the more referable you are. It's not about asking for referrals. It's about being referable. Highly so.
You are probably  already knocking yourself out giving superior service, catering to your client's whims and having client appreciation days. In fact, you might even have a reserved parking place for them when they visit your office. All of this is good stuff. But it’s not enough.

How to Be Highly Referable

Here's a little-known secret to make you highly referable. In addition to providing fabulous service, you also need to engage your clients. Take your very best clients and make them true partners by asking them how you can improve your practice. They will feel flattered and invested in your success. Do this individually and in groups. Create an advisory board and listen to what they say.
Not only will you give them a superior client experience, you'll get many valuable ideas to improve your practice.

Help Your Clients Refer You Ideal Clients

Now you have this loyal group of clients you have conditioned to want to help you. One of the best ways they can help you, course, is by giving you referrals. Not just any old referrals, but ideal referrals.
To be able to do this they need three things:
  1. Knowledge of who the right prospects are for you,
  2. An understanding of how to describe you and your services, and
  3. Reassurance that it's safe for them to make the referral.
Identify Your Target Market
What type of people do you work with best and help the most? Do you target anybody nearing or at retirement age, or do you specialize in a specific occupation or profession? Let's use dentists as an example. If you work with dentists who are nearing or at retirement age, you are in a more powerful position because this group is easier to market to because they have similar values and interests. You can even get to know and use their jargon, which makes you more attractive and trustworthy in their eyes.
A less specific target market works well too. For instance, self-employed professionals would include dentists, doctors, accountants, and lawyers, to name a few. So if you're having a referral conversation with an ideal client, you can say something like, "the people I help best are self-employed professionals like you."

Write Your Ideal Client Profile

An effective referral building strategy includes clearly defining the specific characteristics and circumstances that make up your ideal client profile. Think about it: what type of people do you love to work with? What type of people are you in sync with? And how are your unique services geared to that type of client?
Clarifying your ideal client profile makes the referral process clear. Once you understand and have crafted your ideal client profile, it’s easy to reinforce with your current clients how they ARE ideal clients for you. And it’s natural for your clients to then recognize what a good fit your services are for them.
Having a written ideal client profile also helps you in many additional ways. It helps you focus and speak the language of a specific type of person. It helps you decide which networks to participate in and what marketing strategies to use. You'll be able to structure your whole financial service to serve your ideal client. And your ideal client will listen to you. It's like being able to call out to him/her by name in a crowded room. Your ideal client will be compelled to look at you and listen.
If you picture your ideal client in your mind's eye when you're writing your marketing material, it's much easier. You can write about their specific needs and desires. Define your ideal clients by examining these criteria:
  • Age, occupation or retirement status
  • Investable assets, socioeconomic group
  • Income
  • Education
  • Psychographics (values, motivations, problems, issues and aspirations)
  • Groups they belong to
 When you've done this, take a fresh look at your ideal client and think of it him/her as your ideal prospect. This is the person you want to talk to. This is person you should network with. This is the person you educate. This is the person you write your value proposition to. This is the person you make your compelling offers to.
And this is the person you want your clients to refer.
So, when you're educating one of your special clients to refer to you, show her this ideal client profile.
Then educate her on what to say. Explain that you have a process for making referrals you'd like her to use.

Develop Your Value Proposition

It's important for your referring clients to understand why they should refer anyone to you in the first place. What's in it for her friend?
So, if you ever wondered why your client get a glazed look when you ask for referrals, it's because she doesn't know what's special about you; she doesn't understand what value you provide; and she doesn't know what clients you work best with. You're a generalist who does everything for everybody — just another advisor. You don't stand out from the crowd.
That's why, in addition to your ideal client profile, you need to show her your compelling value proposition.
If you don't have your value proposition yet, here's how to make one. Start with this exercise. Make a list of the benefits your services provide. Thoroughly review the challenges your clients are trying to solve. Describe which tools you provide and what decisions you help them make. Then boil this down to one or two concise sentences.
Always start your value proposition with your target market explaining the people you help and then describe the benefits you provide. The shorter you make this, the better.
For instance, my value proposition is: I help financial professionals get more profitable, high net worth, referrals.
If you'd like help creating your value proposition, you can get four easy fill-in-the-blanks value proposition templates here.
Lastly, you need to reassure your clients that it's safe to refer to you. She'll have no regrets because you promise to treat her friend with the utmost professionalism. Her friend will have a good experience. You will act as a sounding board and not as a salesman. You're offering a value-added service and her friend does not need to become a client to benefit from it.
Be sure and keep her in the loop and let her know what's going on without divulging inappropriate details. I find one of the big mistakes advisors make is to thank someone for a referral and that's the end of it. The referring party is kept in the dark. Not at all rewarding.


Follow these tips to make yourself highly referable and you get your share of the annuity sales bonanza.
Stan Mann
P.S. Exclusively for financial professionals.Discover my seven-step process for getting a steady flow of more profitable referrals. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Want more referrals?

Tips frim Rashid Kotwal

Had a call from a hypnotherapist. We’ll call her J.

J helps people quit smoking and gets great results. But she’s not getting any referrals. Either from past clients or other therapists. J wondered what was wrong and how could we help?

It’s a pretty common scenario. The vast majority of businesses don’t get a lot of referrals. No matter what they might tell you.

Your best source of referrals should be your clients. But they generally won’t refer even though you do a great job. Unless you give them the tools they need.

 I needed to diagnose J’s issue and then prescribe a solution.

While specific situations differ, the principles are the same.

J gets results. 95% of the time one session with a client is all it takes.

“What happens after the session? Do you ever contact them to see how it went?”

“No. If they need another session they call me. But usually I never hear from them again.”

As a model, it sucks. A Customer buys once and then disappears into the sunset never to be heard from again.

Probing deeper, J mentioned clients who want to quit smoking often have other underlying issues she could work with.

This opens up possibilities to add services including weight loss as she already has a client’s trust.

This was my advice.

Move from one to three sessions.

Three or more touch points means a client gets familiar dealing with you which helps cement the relationship.

In J’s context it takes time for people to change major underlying patterns. Quitting smoking is considered to be one of the hardest addictions to beat. Three sessions allow J to spend more time with each client increasing the long term success rate.

Back to generating more referrals…

Plant the seed that you expect they’ll give you referrals. Explain that you build your business on recommendations from happy clients.

Have marketing material your clients can hand out on your behalf. Material which does the “selling” for you encouraging prospects to call. While your clients may sing your praises, nothing beats having something tangible to hand out.

Then follow your clients up.

Call them in a couple of days to see how they’re going. Are they happy? Did they get the outcome they wanted?

Have a newsletter with tips as well as success stories you can send out once a month. Then make a personal connection every 3 months or so. Gently remind them that you build your business on referrals so you keep on top of mind.

These principles apply to any business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling services or physical goods. The more you follow up, the more you show you care and the more your clients will reciprocate by giving you more business and referrals.

The key is to do it.

Want help generating more business? Call Rashid on 0414-913-334.

Referron is a great way to track, measure, reward and follow up referrals. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

10 Ways to generate more referrals on LinkedIn

From Michael Griffiths 

Everyone seems to be on LinkedIn. So you are too. But are you actually generating leads and referrals? Here's a blueprint for using LinkedIn to prospect more effectively for you and your business

1. Prepare a digital version of your 30-Second Commercial and include that text in your LinkedIn profile
The main thing to remember about LinkedIn is this: It is a huge, never-ending, virtual networking event, and you have to be ready with the right response to, "What do you do?"
Your 30-second commercial is the answer to that question, as told from the point of view of a prospect in pain that eventually turned into your happy customer. If something like this isn't on your LinkedIn profile you're at a competitive disadvantage.

2. Add connections to your network
If you invest a minute or so each working day clicking the "connect" button on the "People You May Know" list that LinkedIn posts in your feed you will broaden your network, and you will become known as someone who broadens the network, which is just as important.
Remember: Everyone you talk to about business or meet during the course of the business day is a potential LinkedIn connection.

3. Play fair. But only "connect" to people you actually know
LinkedIn will backfire on you if you pretend to know people you don't. (While we're at it, here are nine other mistakes people make on LinkedIn.)
Always ask for introductions to people you don't know.

4. Build out your lead list
Spend five minutes a day investigating the connections of your contacts to see whom you don't know personally but would like to meet. Make a note of those to whom you would like introductions. Start first with the "Recommendations," since those are most likely the strongest relationships of the LinkedIn user you are viewing.
Ask for the recommendations outside of your LinkedIn account via email or phone. You'll get a quicker answer. (And you'll get the chance to quickly reconnect with your connections.)

5. Follow your current clients and prospects
Spend another two minutes each day looking up your current clients and top prospects. Find out whether they have a company page. If they do, follow and monitor it.

6. Post an update
Spend 60 seconds each working day posting an "Update" to your LinkedIn network. Use the daily update to share a link to an article or a video that is relevant to your prospects and customers. Or use the "Pulse" (used to be known as "LinkedIn Today") feature on your LinkedIn dashboard.
Each time you post an update you get displayed on the feed of all the people with whom you are connected. But never sell when you post updates. Add value and share expertise instead.

7. Join groups
LinkedIn lets you connect with people who are in groups with you. Use this as a targeted way to add value to others, share insights, and build out your network with prospects. Invest five minutes a day on this. (Here are tips to find the best groups to join.)

8. Use LinkedIn to celebrate the accomplishments of others
When you come across a news story or post that offers good news about your client or prospect, or any key contact, share the news as a status update. Recognize the person with an "@" reply. That will ensure they receive notification of the mention. Spend a minute a day on this.

9. Write a recommendation
It is often difficult to secure LinkedIn recommendations, if only because it takes the writer time to log in, write, and post them.
Instead of waiting for someone to recommend you, devote five minutes a day to writing and posting (reality-based) recommendations for your customers and key contacts. Once your contact approves the text, the recommendation will show up on his/her LinkedIn account.
This will align you with your contact, serve as a permanent top-of-mind promotional piece for you and your organization, show your network that you work together, and make it much more likely that your contact will look for a way return the favor. That could be either a referral or a recommendation. Often, it's both.

10. Stop
The key to success on LinkedIn is investing a little bit of time every working day--not six hours a day for a week straight, then nothing.
Do all of this regularly. The maximum total time investment should be 20 minutes a day, not including developing your 30-Second Commercial (which you should finish before you even log into LinkedIn.)
Invest that twenty minutes a day, consistently, for thirty straight working days, and you will start generating more prospects and referrals from LinkedIn.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What Is a Real Referral?

Have your ever been given a referral to call someone? 

When you called, was the person expecting your call? Did they find it somewhat of an interruption and irritation?

Many sales people are confused as to what a real referral is. 

A real referral is not when a colleague makes a recommendation for you to call someone so you can use their name to make  a "warm" call.

A real referral is when a colleague makes a recommendation for you to call someone and that person knows they've been referred. Subsequently, they are expecting your call. 

Anything less is just a cut above a cold call.

A professionally trained sales person develops sound strategies around how to ask for referrals and they "coach" the referee how to set up the referral effectively so that there are no unfortunate surprises.

Good selling.

Phil Lee is one of Australia's leading sales and personal growth experts. He has worked with organisations like Oracle, LinkedIn, CBA, Optus, Concur and many SMB's. If you would like to inquire about Phil speaking at one of your events, training or coaching your team call 02 93006001 or  email

Referron is an app that enables you to easily refer someone  to a person you know like and trust, and enables you to track, measure and reward referrals made and received!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Networking is so much more than swopping your business cards

So what is Networking?

Is Networking really going to functions and meeting people then giving each other Business Cards that we never look at again?


So you've met someone who really would utilise your services - once you have generated the contact - its what you do next that Books the Business!

To be honest, once you've met this person who would be an "Ideal" Client - its up to you to build the trust over time. You have to build a relationship with your new friend. A relationship where you get to know what he does and he gets to know what you do. You need to work at building Trust and a relationship or friendship, a connection with this person. 

When the time is right. When your friend ,found at a networking function, has a problem and you have built a friendship with this person by keeping in touch, your friend - When the time is right - they are thinking who do I know who can help me with this problem - Since you have kept in contact regularly and built trust - they will think " I know .... They pick up the phone and give you a call. 

Then if you have your pricing right and you can have simple sales conversations, you will Book the Business. 

So Networking is So much more than exchanging cards ......... Its about building connections ,  friendships,  connections and building TRUST. When they need your help, they will give you a call or go into a sales conversation when you call. 

In the BookYourselfSolid®, once you've made a connection - you share in regular monthly emails -

1. Share your compassion 
2. Share someone in your network 
3. Share an article or something you know

You can even take it up a notch by sending books or article that will be of interest to your network - or at least a special connection within your network.

You don't need a lot of connections, at BookYourselfSolid®, we talk about the List of 90 - just work with the connections within your network and by building the connection and trust level, you will build your business. 

Adrienne McLean, BookYourselfSolid® Certified Coach, is a Marketing Skills expert helping Business Professionals with Marketing and Client generation by using the world famous BookYourselfSolid® system. See -

Adrienne is the President of the Hornsby Chamber of Commerce running regular networking events in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney. See


Monday, June 15, 2015

Entrepreneurial gems

I93. I wish I knew the importance of networking when I first started my web design company. It took me a few months to realize that referrals and networking are the best types of leads. People want to do business with people they like! – Becky McKinnell

78. Relationship Marketing – I wish I had understood the importance of staying connected with past clients and nurturing relationships with current clients. Your personal life, your spiritual life and your professional life is all about the relationship. – Sandie Glass

53. What I didn’t know then was the value of networking. You never know where business will come from. And having friends and acquaintances from political, business and social circles may prove to be your best new business referral! – Melissa Stevens

41. One thing I wish I knew right off the bat is the benefit of networking.  I spent a lot of time trying to tackle everything on my own, but its really important to reach out to fellow entrepreneurs, complimentary businesses, family and friends for advice and support. – Cailen Ascher Poles

10. I really wished I developed more social skills early on to spend more time developing relationships. Networking has been key to bringing in more business and I had practice this social ability more, then business may have come sooner rather than later. – Ali Allage

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


We are delighted to present this opportunity to our referron subscribers.

I am looking forward to spending 3 days with Kate Engler and 8 of the Country's top journalists next week.  This meet the press media experience will see you pitch your business to the countries top media outlets.

If you are ready for this level of media access and the media exposure that will result, you are invited to apply to be a part of this exclusive masterclass of 30 businesses. 

If you are serious about your business and are keen to get significant amounts of publicity, I would recommend that you invest your precious time into this masterclass - From Thursday 4 - Saturday 6 June. 


TO enable our interstate travellers to join us in Sydney, Kate has agreed to reimburse the cost of travel to Sydney (to a limit of $500).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

5 Steps to effectively network at events

By Michael Griffiths 

Business networking events can be for finding not only customers, but equally for finding strategic alliance partners, useful referrals for your clients and like-minded business owners who you can build a relationship with. Therefore getting yourself out there and booked into a local business networking events is something you should be doing and doing regularly to help your business grow.  

But attending the event itself and meeting people is not enough. On its own it's a couple of hours spent out of the office chatting to fellow business owners who you will most likely forget – and who will forget you – once everyone gets back to the busy office. Effectively following-up after a networking event is key to maximizing the benefits you get from attending business networking events.

Here are five ways to effectively getting great connections from a networking event:

1. Adjust your Attitude:
Rather than view networking as sucking up and shuffling business cards take the approach that it's about educating yourself about opportunities. That education could be in the form of meeting new people, learning a new idea, learning about new ways of connecting with people, getting company and industry information, and, of course, job leads. That attitude helps when you have to reach out to strangers for informational interviewing or are following up after a networking event, something I do on a regular basis. Networking also gives you the chance to practice self-marketing. You can tell right away if you're getting your message across.

2. Schedule a time to follow up with the business cards collected:
Whenever you schedule time in your diary to attend a networking event, make sure to schedule time in your diary (you should do this within 24 hours of the event itself) to input the business cards you've collected and follow-up.
Typically you'll only need 15-30 minutes to input a handful of business cards into your database. Make sure to note down in the contact record where and when you met the individual and why you connected at the event. You'll be grateful of these notes when you try to find that individual but can't remember his or her name 12 months down the road. 

3. Email or call 
Following up with an individual by e-mail or by telephone call is a must, if you want to build a relationship with the person you've met. But make sure to follow-up in the right way! Don't assume that the person you've met remembers you or indeed where you met – many business owners attend lots of networking events and meet dozens of people each week!
When you reach-out to the person you've met you should give them a gentle reminder of where and when you met, and ideally, what you spoke about during your conversation and any other memory hooks.

4. Share helpful content
If you've met somebody at a networking event and discussed a specific topic or a challenge they're currently having, look for an opportunity to follow-up by including content they'd find useful. This is not an opportunity to sell, but it can be an opportunity to share your own educational material – be they videos, blogs or articles. So a follow-up where you say "We can do that for you" is unlikely to work, but a follow-up where you say "Here's an article post I wrote on the subject" can work. Again, you're demonstrating that you're trying to help the person – not sell to them.

5. Connect on social media
Nearly all of us have a LinkedIn account, connecting with that person on LinkedIn helps expand your network. Once you're both connected on LinkedIn, don't make the second big mistake of not using that connection! Take a look at their profile – read about their background – see who they are connected to – and look for opportunities to continue the conversation. It may be that they have a connection to that business you've been desperate to talk to about your services! Remember look to see whether the person is on Twitter too – and if they are, give them a shout-out to say how much you enjoyed meeting them at the event! Everybody likes to be acknowledged and it's another way to stay front of mind.

Friday, May 8, 2015

5 tips on how to network

122 Gems of Effective Networking

The 5 Secrets of Networking from Angel L. Ramos, MBA

1. Prepare
2. Work The Room
3. Build Relationships
4. Focus on giving vs Receiving
5. Follow Up

Saturday, May 2, 2015

How Deep are your networks and relationships

Networking is a big discussion topic as well as becoming big business as more networking groups appear online and offline.  Where I live it seems that at least each week a person is creating a new ‘meetup’ group for business networking (even if there are 10 already offered), or another breakfast, lunch or happy hour to meet and greet like-minded business people.  Attending networking functions in itself can be a full-time job.
And then there is LinkedIn (which I love by the way!).  LinkedIn was one of the first social media platforms that took professional networking online and still remains the leader in that space today (for B2B relationship building).  There are at least 2 million groups that one can join on LinkedIn to create discussions and expand one’s network.  In fact, 89.7% of users find LinkedIn moderately-extremely useful in growing their network and developing their business.
Networks are not only about numbers; more importantly it is about the relationships developed through the networks which then ‘deepens’ the network and increases the ‘net’s worth’.  Relationship building has become easier thorough technology yet I find that the face-to-face or phone call is still one of the best ways in establishing the foundation, building that trust and then solidifying the connection.  As we all know a lot can be sensed via verbal and non-verbal communication; so much can be misinterpreted through ‘text’ or email nowadays.
So the question arises and to reflect upon … Are my networks deep in numbers expanding the globe?  Are my networks deep in substance where the majority of people on my list know how I ‘do business’ and maybe a bit about me personally and vice versa? 
Networking is about ‘giving and take’ and ‘contributing and accepting’.  When we find out a little more about the PERSON than just surface stuff – e.g., what she does, how long he has been in business, etc. – we are then starting to form roots that can grow the value of that person within your network.  The ‘give and take’ is not just about sharing articles or referring people; it is also about giving a little bit of your ‘self’ to that person to become more connected with him or her.  By doing that (and with discernment of course), it can then increase their level of trust by revealing something about them, for example, being a keen landscape photographer. 
Never underestimate who is your biggest ‘fan’ in your network.  This is where, I believe, by getting into a more heart-to-heart and possibly philosophical conversation with colleagues, you find out who your truest allies are within your network.  Many times we don’t know who our biggest fans are especially in these days of social media with the many outlets we can use to make a difference in one’s life.  Just because someone ‘likes’ your post may not reflect their level of admiration (although ‘likes’ are always welcome).
True networks are priceless; like precious gems they must be taken care of to maintain and also increase their value.  By creating more ‘depth’ in substance, your ‘net’s worth’ will increase.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Referrals ... A Gold Mine Gone Begging!

from a leading Accountannts coach:- 

Having worked with, consulted to and advised partners of accounting firms as well as countless owners of small to medium sized enterprises across Australia, New Zealand, North America and the United Kingdom, I discovered that without question – THE most wasted opportunity for all of those businesses  - accountants or otherwise was:


Ask any small business owner: “What’s your number one source of new business?”  The vast majority will tell you: “Word of mouth, referrals from our existing customers”.

Then ask the next and most critical question:  “Do you have a system for consistently generating referrals?”

The answer, almost 100% of the time, whether accounting firm or SME:


Like those small businesses, accounting and professional services firms typically fail to create a system for generating referrals.  Many firms have systems for tracking where new clients come from and others have systems for thanking referrers however, ALL BUT NONE have a system for actually GENERATING referrals from your client base.

Let’s explore this HUGE opportunity for your firm, to do that, let’s start with a simple calculation ...

Make a note of your average annual fees per business client, for example, $3000 p.a., $5000 p.a., $8000 p.a., $12,000 p.a., $18000 p.a., $23,000 p.a. etc.

Now make a note of how long an average client stays with your firm, e.g. typically, 5 or 7 years.

Now calculate the two i.e. your average annual fees per year, per business client, multiplied by the number of years they stay with you.  For example: 

$7,000 x 7 Years = $49,000.

That means every business client is worth $49,000 in gross revenue to your firm over time.

Now ask yourself this question ... Would you say, that over those 7 years each client would refer to you at least one other business client?

If the answer is ‘yes’ which is the typical response from most firms, then in reality every client isn’t worth $49,000, in fact they’re worth $98,000.  They’re worth that via the value they add to your firm, by speaking positively about you to their colleagues and associates.

(If the answer is ‘no, we wouldn’t get 1 per client over time’ then frankly, you have some work to do within your operations.  When you offer quality products and services and high customer service, referrals come naturally.  Please note: your average fee per annum may be too low e.g. $3,000.  It’s very difficult to add real value to clients and go over and above ‘standard compliance’ servicing in that price range. To quote Tom Peters: ‘we are rewarded to the extent to which we add value’, you may need to rethink your average hourly rate/value pricing to be able to offer more value to clients AND therefore, have talking about you positively as a result.)

Given the enormous value of a client and their referrals to you and your firm, the key then is to spend some time developing a system that captures referrals rather than leaving it to chance. 

Just remember the three magic rs of referring
record, reward, remind

RECORD … the details of who has been referred when they make an initial seminar booking and when you enter their details into the database. That way you’ll know who is getting referred, who they are getting referred by and who is doing the most referring.

REWARD … referees generously and also make referred clients feel special because they have been referred by one of your top clients.

REMIND … clients regularly about referring people they know. It isn’t a case of sitting back and letting them come to you. It’s important to continue to maintain that WOW service experience and also to continually remind ‘A’ class clients about the need to refer.