Client Centered Referrals

By Troy Waugh

As I discuss in my book, whenever you have a client in common with another service provider, it’s logical to get acquainted with that person so you can coordinate in serving the client. Get to know your best clients’ other professional service providers. We find lawyers, bankers, bonding agents, and insurance brokers among the best. They are open to you and will readily meet with you because of your joint client.

One large consulting firm uses this approach almost exclusively to add new clients. For every client they have, there are often 4-5 other professionals they can contact. And often they have multiple clients in common, creating a stronger tie.

Referrals Help Your Clients and Prospects

Referrals are not just for your benefit. Clients want informed referrals to resources that can help them, too. When you have cross-referral arrangements with other service providers, you add greater depth to your clients’ business support team. Together you create a "group" that is a more complete organization to serve each customer better.

Your prospects would prefer to hear about you from someone they trust and who has their best interests at heart. By setting up referral arrangements, you are helping your clients by strengthening their business advisors.

Getting more referrals is logical and easy. You should first create awareness of your most apparent referral sources. Secondly, create a simple action plan with a timetable for completion. Then stay in touch so that you remain “front in their mind” when they consider other quality professionals. If you will concentrate on referrals, you will be successful and they will be your most valuable source of new business.

Proactive service may be a little extra work over just reacting to client requests. However, it will create a big return on your investment of thought and time. You’ll reap the benefits in better relationships and deeper client loyalty.


An innovator of dynamic marketing systems, Troy has more than 30 years of experience in marketing professional services. In 1991, he founded Waugh&CO to serve the accounting profession.

Troy draws on his experience as the National Sales Manager for a major investment firm, the CEO of a publishing company and a manager with Price Waterhouse. Recognized as an industry leader, Troy has impacted clients around the world with his dynamic programs.

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