Generating Valuable Word of Mouth Referrals

How do you generate leads? Larger firms often have the advantage of budgets that include line items for advertising, direct mail and exposure through sponsorships – to name a few tried and true tactics. But if you are in a small or mid-size firm, you may not have the resources for these types of costly strategies. Your leads come from many sources, but word-of-mouth referrals generally lead the list. It takes effort and commitment to build the relationships that continually produce quality leads for your firm.

Here are a few ideas for you: first of all, don’t try to know “everybody.” Keep your list of referrers short – and nurture it carefully. If the community sees you trying to be all things to all people, you will possible ending up as being nobody to everybody! Next, be sincere. Ours is called a “relationship business” – and relationships are defined as meaningful connections, founded on a genuine desire to help each other. When you are being less than honest and when you are only concerned about your own agenda and goals, it shows. The third tip is to be generous – and help others when you can. I once heard a proverb that said, “He who gives, gathers.” And in professional services marketing and lead generation, that is certainly true! Help others by making introductions, offering opportunities to participate in your programs if someone has an expertise that is relevant for your audience, or by including a guest article in your next client newsletter. You will find that he more you reach out to others, the more others will be reaching out to you!

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Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, will lead a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

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