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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #50: November, 2007

referral business from every client

Some techniques for getting referral business from every client:

  1. Provide your client with referrals. This may not be possible in the steel industry, but it certainly is in the real estate profession. Moreover, even in steel, you may be able to recommend better resources, venders, etc.
     
  2. Talk about it early in your discussion, even before the proposal, e.g., "My work is based largely on happy clients and their referrals. I plan to make you one of them." 
     
  3. Place it in the proposal under "joint accountabilities": "If you are happy with our work, you will consider providing three referrals." 
     
  4. Provide options: "I would love an introduction, but I'd be happy to use your name, or not use your name at all. What's best for you?" 
     
  5. Request them while you are still working on the project, about two-thirds through, not after you are done and leave. 
     
  6. Ask a lot of people. It doesn't have to be solely the economic buyer. 
     
  7. Ask periodically, at least twice a year. 
     
  8. Send a thank you for the referral itself, and then keep your client apprised of your progress. Send another thank you if business ensues. This will prompt more referrals. 
     
  9. Explain to the client how to do it: "I have someone here who has helped us tremendously, and I think just 30 minutes together would be highly valuable to you." 
     
  10. If a client agrees to provide referrals, but hasn't yet, firmly but politely follow-up until you get them. Why wouldn't you?
 
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