Accountants are often seen as the ideal people to to ask for referrals. After all, accountants in practice will often act for dozens of clients, many of whom are targets for other complementary suppliers.
This means that accountants are routinely approached by financial advisers, will writers, software developers, marketing consultants and many other service providers. The only problem is that many such people mess up. They don’t know the first thing about how accountants work, what motivates them or how to get them to refer their clients on to other service providers.
I regularly hear about such encounters – both from accountants who are ‘fed up’ with such approaches, and from service providers whose efforts are failing to secure the desired outcome. Indeed this mis-match led me to develop a seminar (now a masterclass) to help such service providers better understand what matters to accountants. I’ve run the seminar a number of times since its first outing in January 2009 and feedback has been very positive.
In addition to my own insights and ideas I have been sharing the data I collated in a survey of accountants in 2008. Over 200 told me what was important to them when approached by someone asking for referrals. This enabled me to extrapolate some specific advice based on empirical evidence.
Is this still an issue I wonder? Are you often approached? What’s your attitude and response when someone asks you for referrals to your clients?
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