Last week, in ‘How to Ask for Referrals – Part I,’ we heard from lawyers and accountants. This week, we will hear from consultants.
FROM THE CONSULTANTS:
Mark Federman, Ph.D
Federman – Reengagement Realized
Asking for a referral is, by definition, all about me. It’s something I want to benefit my business. A more effective ask would be to turn this around, and offer a benefit to the potential referrer first. Using your great probing and listening skills, determine what interests the other person. What problems do they have for which you might be able to offer a solution? What opportunities do they see for which you can offer an advantageous approach? By freely suggesting a new way to perceive their challenge that draws on your key business skills, you set yourself up to ask the obvious follow-on question: Who else do you know who might be facing the same, or similar situation that might also benefit from my approach? Voila! Instant, natural, and painless referral.
In general, when we feel comfortable with a client, in a casual conversation when the vibe seemed right, we might mention that we would always appreciate referrals.
We also meet with our clients’ accountants to present what we do, with the sole purpose of trying to create excitement so they will refer us to others who would benefit from our services.
I will add that one method that has consistently worked well in my own consulting practice is maintaining visibility. I have received referrals after sharing information, ideas and insights that added value to my network at speaking engagements, on my blog, LinkedIn, Twitter or by way of my newsletter. This includes referrals from people I didn’t know, but who were somehow connected to my professional network!
For more on generating referrals, see this previous post on SlawTips:
Also, see Toronto Marketing Blog for generating the type of referrals that fit your practice: