We’ve presented over the last 2 weeks how you can use a secret formula for increasing your referrals and using stories that leave your audience begging for more. Now, it’s time to wrap things up. Since we seem to be on a magic formula kick, we’ll wrap this up with one more that you can use to turn midyear reviews into business to business referrals.
Start by identifying an “A” client — one who energizes you to work with, one who reminds you why you went into business for yourself in the first place, and one who you’d want to “clone.”
3 Tips To Earn Business to Business Referrals
1. Quantify as precisely as possible how much you’ve saved that client over the course of your relationship. This is a crucial part of our philosophy — always emphasizes ROI. Most of us are great at saving our clients money. We’re just not as good as we could be about communicating that value to them.
Call him or her for a midyear review. With some clients, you can have that conversation right then and there on the phone. With others, you’ll want a formal sit-down with midyear financials. My call would sound something like this:
“I was just going through your file, and I wanted the chance to talk/sit down/have lunch with you to make sure there’s not anything I’m missing with your taxes.”
Clients will take that call, and they will take that meeting. Remember, everybody wants you to come to them with ideas for rescuing wasted taxes!
2. Tell them just how much you’re worth to them. This may be the hardest step for some of you. But it’s really the “missing link” for most of us. Remember — we’re great at saving our clients money. We’re just not so good at communicating that value to them. Step One gives you the confidence to blow your own horn. Now it’s time to go out and do it.
For those of you who feel uncomfortable blowing your own horn: I promise you that once you get over the hurdle of doing this the first time, you’ll be amazed at how well your clients react — and how easy it is to do the next time.
3. Leverage the conversation into a business to business referrals request. If you’ll remember our discussion from two weeks ago, this means identifying who you want to be referred to and tying that request into the value you’ve already delivered.
Let’s say you’re meeting with a chiropractor client, and three years ago you converted his single-member LLC from a proprietorship to an S-corp to save self-employment tax. We’ll say you’ve saved him $6,000 per year for each of those years, for a grand total of $18,000. Your request might sound like this:
“What other chiropractors do you know that would be interested in saving the same $18,000 I saved you?”
(While we’re at it, don’t ask “do you know anyone else who . . . ?” Of course your client knows someone else who hates paying taxes — and asking “do” they know anyone else gives them way too easy an out to say “no.”)
I’ve talked for three weeks now about “magic” formulas for generating business to business referrals. If you want more referrals, just ask for them. And give people a reason to give them. Then sit back and figure out how the heck you’re going to handle all the new work!
Learn more about business to business referrals. Become a Certified Tax Coach.