Accounting firms live – and die – by the referral. So, hanging onto those hard-won referrals is critical. To do so, firms must take advantage of key opportunities that will lead to a referral. But here is a scary statistic: More than 50 percent of the referrals you earn are actually lost before the prospect reaches out to the referred firm.
Below are seven steps to ensuring you maximize your potential for business-boosting referrals and not waste the referrals you get.
1. Promote your expertise. According to a series of studies on referral marketing by my firm, Referral Marketing Study and Referral Marketing for Professional Services, the best way to boost the number of referrals you receive is to make sure your expertise is visible. How? Speak at industry events, publish blog posts and other content that demonstrates your thought leadership, be active on social media, even write a book.
You can also boost prominence and credibility by having an impressive website, featuring high in the search engine rankings and amassing positive online reviews.
2. Be clear about what you do – and for whom. Nearly 44 percent of referrals rule out a firm because they cannot decipher exactly what the firm does. Perhaps the website uses jargon that is not easily understood. Or maybe the firm has no content online that effectively explains the company’s expertise. Ensure better follow-through by clearly addressing your service offerings on your website and any other point of engagement with prospective clients. Explain what you do and who you do it for.
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About Lee Frederiksen
Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is managing partner at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow.