From time to time, an insurance advisor will say to me, “You know, I’ve been referring a lot of business to this CPA – but he never refers me back. I’m going to stop referring him business.”
Or, “I’m referring a lot of business to this estate planning attorney. He never reciprocates. You know what? I’m not referring him anymore.”
In fact, I just recently had this conversation with a financial advisor. I asked, “Do you know why he doesn’t refer you business?” He said, no. I said, “That’s your issue: You have to find out what’s going on. Don’t just cut him off. There may be something you don’t know or may not see.”
I continued, “Maybe he just doesn’t realize it. Or, he simply doesn’t know how to refer you. Maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t like you or trust that you’re good at what you do. Or, he may feel that you’re not experienced enough to work with his clients. Maybe there’s some other problem or issue. He may have a friend or family member who does exactly what you do, and there goes your referral. You have to get to the bottom of this. Clearly, you’re not communicating with him.”
If that’s the case, that’s when you say to the CPA, attorney, or whoever, “Do you want to grab a drink? I’d like to speak with you and talk shop.”
Once you get that meeting, whether it’s over coffee, dinner or a beer, say, “I want to have a conversation with you in terms of how we might refer each other more business. I know I have referred you business, and there might be an opportunity for you to refer me business, and I want to be able to discuss that and see if we can do more business together.”
Right there, you’ll discover the essence of the issue. Often, they just don’t realize it, and now you’re solving the problem instead of running away from it.