How to generate more referrals from existing clients
Following our recent Newswire article “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” the thought of managing or starting a referral system can seem daunting, after all you are an accountant not a business developer?
Wrong! Think about the relationship building qualities that enabled you to get those clients in the first place and ultimately still keep them. You may have consciously or unconsciously followed some processes to get you there and may have involved the 7 key steps to business development. These are universally taught in most sales training programmes and involve the following:
- Planning & Preparation
- Needs identification
- Post communication actions.
These are tried and tested methods of getting you new business and the rest is about your creative and logical imagination in fulfilling your client pipeline potential. We will start with Step 1 planning & preparation and continue the series in a logical order.
Step 1 – Planning & Preparation
This is a key step that will drive the rest of the processes and these are done for each client referral you may get or every new opportunity you identify.
Customer intelligence is a key part of understanding the journey you will take with them when pitching for their business so typical things you should be asking yourself in your research are:
- What do you know from your contact about the potential client?
- Why are they using their current accountant?
- What are the key things they are looking for in the coming year?
- How do they like to be serviced?
- Geographical position; are you within good reach of them?
- What do you know about their industry and do you have good examples and testimonials?
- Have you seen their website and/or marketing material?
You may get some of these questions answered quite easily from the face to face meeting with the prospective client but doing your own homework before will impress your contact even more, especially also if you know their business and industry. Other facts you can get when we look at the needs identification step as this involves the actual face to face meeting with the client.
We will be following up with the introduction and needs identification steps in the next blog. If you have any questions, thoughts or experiences we would appreciate the feedback.
Contributed by Raj Rajput.