Our #AccountantsCoffeeChat in the Accountant’s Coffee House on Facebook regarding referrals went so well, I thought I’d share what we talked about in a short article.
I believe referrals and creating a solid professional referral network are critical for business growth for a few reasons:
- We can’t be great at everything
- A good referral network helps to provide superior customer service
- Referring feels good and can be a win-win for all parties
We Can’t Be Great at Everything
When I had my CPA firm I was constantly approached by various groups asking me to join their investment network so I could sell investments and offer financial planning to my clients. At that time, my firm’s strength was in auditing, business accounting and taxes. Do you know how hard it is to be great at all three of those things? Looking back, I think I did pretty well, but I knew that I couldn’t be great at an entire new service offering such as investments.
With that said, I had a colleague who was great at investments and financial planning and any time a client needed that type of service I referred it to him. As a matter of fact, to this day he still handles all of the investments for a few of my family members.
A Good Referral Network Helps to Provide Superior Customer Service
Isn’t it everyone’s goal to provide superior customer service? Not just average, or decent, but superior. (If that’s not your goal, you may want to rethink some things.) In my current position as a Controller Consultant with Tier One Services, I provide superior customer service in the areas of internal control, accounting processes, financial analysis and data manipulation in Excel. I do not know nearly enough about taxes to provide great service in that area.
I am building a referral network with some outstanding tax prep experts and planners. You better believe that when one of my clients needs tax planning or preparation I will be referring to the top person in my network with the right skills for the situation. Guess what, by making that referral, my client is going to get superior service and be overjoyed with me because of the referral I made.
Referring Feels Good and Can be a Win-Win for All Parties
Let’s face it, getting a new client feels great, but you know what feels just as good, making a well placed referral. I just love the feeling when I can put one of my existing clients in touch with the perfect colleague to help with their problem or situation. When this happens, the client is thrilled with me for referring them to a great service provider and my colleague is thrilled with me for helping to build their business. Yep, I feel pretty good about that.
Not only does my need to feel good get fulfilled, but there is one final benefit to making referrals… I am building my professional network, thus increasing the opportunity for me to receive inbound referrals at some point.
Here is a link to the live chat http://bit.ly/CoffeeChat_Referrals
To Your Success,
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