The ultimate strategy for creating new referrals

You’ve heard this for eons: People do business with people they know, like, and trust.

It’s one of the truest sentences in business, and everything else in your marketing derives from that statement, in one way or another.

But have you ever thought about how it applies to getting referrals?

It works the same way. Existing clients will refer new clients to you only if they like and trust you.

Specifically in relation to getting more referrals, there is another universal law of marketing that also comes into play: The Law of Reciprocity.

If you’ve read any of Chialdini’s work, such as Influence, then you’ll recognize this principle with no further explanation. In short, the law of reciprocity states that when you do something nice for somebody, they normally feel compelled to do something nice in return.

In a business context, what we often want in return is to get referrals.

But most service professionals, accountants included, tend to make the assumption that the fact that you did good work for somebody, or saved them a bunch of money, is reason enough for a client to send you referrals. Saving them money on taxes or expenses is the nice thing you did for them.

No, that’s the service they paid you for.

To proactively generate referrals, you have to be nice to clients in other ways. When you are, they will reciprocate with referrals.

There is one single thing that works better than anything else for putting the law of reciprocity into action. One thing that can drive referrals more than anything else.

I’m dedicating my entire section of the July 2020 issue of The Profitable Accountant to explaining what this one thing is.

If you’re ready to start triggering the law of reciprocity in your practice and generate more referrals, then you need to subscribe to the newsletter before it goes to the printer on the 1st, which is this Wednesday. Here’s the link: reading

The quickest way to burn a referral source

Recently, I’ve been shopping around for a new mortgage broker to refinance a rental property.

My local real estate agent referred me to a couple different people in the area.

Since mortgage rates are at all time lows right now, the refi market is alive and thriving. Loan officers have more prospects coming in than they can keep up with.

But even though that’s the case, it’s no excuse to completely blow off an inquiry, let alone multiple phone calls and emails, from a prospect. At a minimum, a one-sentence email reply to say they’re swamped and will get back to me as soon as they can should be in order.

But no, zero response at all.

When I relayed this back to the real estate agent I work with, that agent contacted the loan officer, and was told that she would get back to me when she could, but just didn’t have time to even tell me that directly.

My real estate agent wasn’t pleased at that response, and will not be sending any further referrals to this particular loan officer.

Referral source: Burned.

That mortgage broker is going to regret doing that when the refi market slows down. Dumb move. Very, very dumb move.

The ironic part is that this is the second time I’ve experienced this in the last couple years, in different markets.

Perhaps even more ironic is the fact that the real estate agent I work with here is somebody I selected because they were the only person that bothered to return my phone calls back in 2015. Since then, she’s earned three commissions from my transactions. Three. Simply because she bothered to return my phone calls 5 years ago.

Your referral sources are the single most valuable source of new business that you have. They’re more valuable than your SEO. More valuable than your social media presence. More valuable than the perfect direct mail piece.

Burn your referral sources, and they’ll simply stop referring. Even if you’re slammed with work, have the common courtesy to get back to people to schedule a future appointment, or let them know that you’re slammed and will get back to them by a certain time. Don’t just “ghost” them.

If you want to grow your referral base, I’d encourage you to snag a copy of the July 2020 issue of The Profitable Accountant newsletter. Until now, this paper-and-ink publication has only been available … Continue reading

The #1 tax resolution marketing strategy you need to be using

In June 2014, I returned to the United States, rented a car, and visited a total of 42 cities, from coast to coast.

On this “road show”, I presented a simple 2-hour ethics CE class to other enrolled agents in each city I visited. Many times, there were only 3-4 people in the room. All told, I connected with over 200 other EAs as a result of this endeavor.

Why on Earth would I embark on such a journey?

I had several reasons for doing this, but one of the biggest reasons was this: It was the fastest way to exponentially grow my network of tax resolution referral sources.

At first, I was reluctant to do this road show. Another speaker/author from the tax prep world had to talk me into it, as he wanted to host several big, full-day workshops with tax professionals around the country. We did eight of those full day workshops together.

But, I sure am glad that he talked me into it. Otherwise, I never would have done my ethics classes along that route. Never would have met those other EAs. Never would have received the client referrals from them later in 2014 and 2015 — client work that helped fund the launch of my tech startup and funded the purchase of the duplex that marked my return to real estate investing after going bankrupt and losing everything in the 2008 recession.

See, when I made the decision to come back to the United States in the summer of 2014, I did so with the intent of creating long-term wealth, rather than just generating income. Tax resolution is the perfect service to offer if you want to be a globe-trotting expat, and at the time I had a great life in Sydney, Australia. But, while I had a healthy income, I wasn’t generating true wealth.

Fortunately, tax resolution is also a great wealth-building tool. And while I had other lead generation tools — my book, a webinar for consumers that converted well enough, successful direct mail campaigns — the reality is that referrals are the single best source of new clients. Always has been, and always will be.

In particular, referrals from the half a million unenrolled preparers that can’t independently represent clients in front of IRS Collections or Appeals at all…. Referrals from the more than 600,000 CPAs that have zero desire to touch a Collections case… Referrals … Continue reading