As somebody who helps small businesses with their finances, you understand the importance of networking.
Your clients reach out to the people they know in order to help them market and spread the message of their services and products. So why should it be any different for you? Whether are you run your own accounting business or work for a firm, tapping into your network and getting referrals can make a big difference for your bottom line. There are lots of different ways to get referrals and the more time and effort you put into it, the more you get out of it.
Why referrals work
You know numbers. You wouldn’t be in accounting if you didn’t. So let’s look at it this way: if you work with 100 clients and each of those clients knows 600 people then you have the possibility of reaching 60,000 new clients. Even if you had just a half of a percent success rate of converting those people into new business, that’s 300 new clients you could be working with. With that kind of the success you’d be at least tripling your revenue.
Besides the money you’ll make, referrals do amazing things for your reputation. Friends and business associates don’t recommend just anybody. Getting your clients to refer you solidifies their commitment to working with you as their accountant. They don’t want you to go out of business because they appreciate the work you do together. So getting their network to use you also ensures that they can continue to do so, too.
Who to ask
You have three types of clients: the type that get all their paperwork done early and pay on time, the type that complains about the work you do and about your billing, and the type in between. The goal of referrals is to attract more of the people in the first category because they’ll make your life and your work a whole lot easier. While it’s not a one hundred percent guaranteed that the easy-going, easy-to-work-with clients only know those same type of people, you can definitely ask them for referrals before hitting up the people who complain about your services.
You also want to look for referrals from somebody who is a connector in your community. If you specialize in accounting for small businesses, request referrals from the small business owners who work with other local small business owners. As accountants, you’re in a unique position to see where your clients money is coming from and where it’s going. When you see a local business spending money locally use that as a starting point for your conversation.