How to manage your referral network

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Jo Summers of research agency Acritas explains how accountancy firms can get under the skin of client referees.

For most practices, referrals are an essential stream of business, often representing as much as 40% of fee income. In a competitive and changing marketplace, many accountancy firms may not be managing this referral process and network as effectively as they could to differentiate their offering and optimise the firm’s share of the available work in the market.

Some firms rely heavily on referrers to generate new business, so networking with banks, surveyors, law firms and other specialists is a very frequent activity. There are networking events on most nights of the week and some individuals are dedicated to investing in building their professional networks.

Nick Ca...

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07th Jul 2009 12:54

Yes, but there's more!
I agree with your comments and it is important to be in touch with your referral network, and manage them as necessary. There are networking events at all times of the day where one may meet potential referrers, and I regularly attend breakfast meetings. However, networking is a two way street. It is important to give referrals and one may find that one needs to give quite a few and help our network before they bring us rewards in the shape of referrals and new clients.

This means responding positively with a recommendation when someone says they are looking for an architect, an IFA, an ink supplies company or a contract cleaner. Managing our network means respecting them and helping them. Their reputation depends on one's own firm doing a good job for their clients or customers and ours depends on their dealing well on the clients and contacts we refer to them. That is a great incentive to maintain quality service both ways.

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