How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Coaching Clients to Refer Business

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Bryce Sanders
President
Perceptive Business Solutions Inc.
Columnist
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Your best clients could be a referral bonanza once they feel confident enough to approach their friends, but the problem is getting them prepared. 

You may need to coach them. You’ve likely played sports, but what does a coach do? They guide the player’s natural talents to achieve a greater height. Olympic coaches are a good example.

First, you need the right client. Some are natural salesman, while others are more reserved, viewing accounting as a pay for service transaction. Avoid the latter. 

The ideal referral source is a client what wants to help you grow your business, one that says:  “Just tell me what I can do to help you.” That’s a good clue.

Second, you need to have a conversation. This can be delicate.  You’ve heard “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” but thanks to technology it has become “What happens in Vegas stays on Facebook forever.” 

In other words, no e-mails, letters or texts. You’ve seen what it’s done to political figures. Even the most innocent comments can be taken out of context. You want this to be an across the table conversation.

Third, your client needs to understand your objective. That’s a 1:1 meeting between you and the prospect. You need to check each other out. It’s completely confidential and the referring client isn’t there.

So Who Makes a Good Potential Client?

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