How to Leverage Cross-Referrals to Build Your Practice

Once I decided to start my accounting and bookkeeping practice, my first task was to find clients. I knew I could do this through traditional marketing efforts, advertise, make cold calls, put out flyers and mail postcards, but I couldn’t wait months for results. I then realized I know a lot of people, so I picked up the phone and started sending e-mails announcing my new practice.

I called the CPAs I knew from my corporate background to let them know I was now on my own. They were very excited for me – and with that excitement came projects. I started getting referrals from CPAs, former employers and friends, and before I knew it, I had new clients and projects coming to my firm and the referrals kept coming.

I knew with all the help I received I had to pay it forward. I have always tried to make it a mission to help those I know. For example, one client may need health insurance and another client is an insurance broker. To put them together, I do what I call a “virtual Introduction” – I introduce each of them via e-mail or Facebook, and then step back and let them meet and go from there. It could be professional or personal matter; something as simple as a friend wanting tickets to a ball game is common.

I find I like bringing people together, or as they call it in the book, The Go Giver by Bob Burg, I am “The Connector!”

You should read The Go Giver. It is a very easy read, not full of PhD-oriented words and Harvard case studies, but a business story ALL of us can relate to. While reading it, I found myself thinking how connection strategies can help all my clients, friends and family members.

I don’t want to give away the entire story, but as you read the book, you will think how you can incorporate the message into your business and your life. You can help refer people to one another and blessings will come to you without even trying. It’s like marketing you and your business and those around you without actually “selling!”

Today, our connected team of clients, friends, bankers, CPAs, CFPs® and lawyers all work together to help one another. In these days of still-tough economic times and no small business bailouts, working together to build each other’s businesses is essential!