Accountants: Expand Your Referral Sources

June 25, 2013    By Linda Telesco

Accountants: Expand Your Referral Sources

If you are typical of most accountants, you probably rely heavily on your current clients for referrals. Usually, this means you wait until your client happens to know someone who needs a good accountant and recommend you.

While a referral from a satisfied client is a good thing, this routine limits you to a reactive role.  You can become more proactive in seeking referrals by using your client list more creatively to connect with previously untapped prospects. 

First, think of some businesses you have not previously approached that may need the services of an accountant. For instance, if you deal in estate taxes, find the names of financial planners and attorneys in your area. Realtors, insurance agents and bankers are other potential referral sources for accountants. 

Once you have identified the professions with referral potential, aim to find specific local contacts in those businesses. Here’s where your current clients can help. 

Who are the attorneys, financial planners, realtors and other professionals that your clients use? These are the top prospects to whom you should promote your services.

Clients are likely to be impressed that you value their opinion and will most likely want to bring together two professionals whose services have satisfied them.

Be sure to ask your clients for permission to use their names. When you send your newsletter to the new prospects, include a personal note explaining that you both have a satisfied client in common, and make sure your newsletter contains content relevant to the prospect’s business.

Once you have expanded your reach to client-recommended prospects, continue to seek other contacts in the professions you have identified as possible referral sources and send them your newsletter

As you convert these prospects into satisfied clients, ask them to share your newsletter with their colleagues. This is a powerful way to expand your referral sources. 

Finally, remember to thank everyone who has helped you in the process. You can even offer clients a discount on their next service if their referrals result in new revenue for you.

So, if you want to increase referrals, don’t wait. Get proactive, and see your prospects grow.

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