I’ve heard other advisors say “it’s impossible” to get quality referrals from other professionals in their community. “Really?” I say. My whole business is built on the referrals I receive from the CPAs in my community. I do no other marketing other than networking with a handful of CPAs and accountants in my area and I have a very successful business. How have I been effective at this while so many others have not? I think it has something to do with our approach.
The right approach
First, our success with referrals started with targeting the right professionals to approach. Not all CPAs are created equally, and only a few will work with your ideal prospects. We identified the best CPAs to build alliances with by asking our top clients who their CPA was–and that’s who we reached out to. My thinking was that if they’re already working with our top clients, chances are pretty good that they work with other clients just like them. I contacted each of these CPAs, but rather than asking them for referrals, I asked them if I could refer my top clients to them. And that got their attention. I met with and interviewed those who showed interest and made them a deal they couldn’t refuse. I didn’t start by asking if we could simply cross refer clients; rather, I asked them if they would be open to working together as a team for our clients benefit.