Most tax professionals rely on word-of-mouth, or
referrals to grow their business. A good network of referral partners
is like having a volunteer sales force.
People love to give referrals, but it is important to make it easy
for them to do so. You wouldn't send your paid sales force out into the
world without the knowledge and tools to do their job, so why would you
do that to your volunteer sales force?
Since most of the people you know are probably too busy to attend your 1/2 day
seminar on "how to work as a salesperson for no pay", you need an easier way to
give them the information that they need to help you out.
Create a one page sheet that gives them all of the information they
need to refer you properly. Having a written description of who makes
an ideal prospect and how your referral system works is a powerful way
to get more qualified leads. Your description should include the
- How to spot your ideal customer – this will help cut down on the
time you spend chasing referrals who end up not being the type of people you want
to work with.
- How to explain what you do – make sure your referral sources are
communicating your core difference rather than just your title.
- How your referral process works – what happens once your receive a referral.
Having this information in writing accomplishes several things. It
is a more effective way to ask for referrals than the typical "do you
know anyone that needs what I do?". Your services will be described in
a more consistent manner by your referrers. It shows you are organized
Explaining how your referral process works will also help alleviate
any hidden fears people may have about referring you. No one wants to
be the person who referred Uncle Joe to the "salesperson from hell" who
calls every evening at supper time.
Bottom line – give your volunteer sales force the information they need and start receiving more qualified leads.