Referrals are a tried-and-true way to garner new clients. Think back to that new dentist you selected thanks to a glowing recommendation from your co-worker or the restaurant you dined at last night based on 5-star Yelp reviews. We are more likely to spend our own money based on referrals from confidants and sources we trust.
For professional services, no matter if you're an agency, managed service provider (MSP), or accounting firm, referrals play a crucial part in winning new clients and their business. In fact, 80% of accounting firms surveyed said that they get a majority of their leads from referrals. Understandably, when it comes to selecting something as important as an accounting firm, businesses want to ensure that they can trust and rely on your services for their long-term financial health.
So, how do you make such an outstanding impression on your clients that you become their go-to accounting firm and earn their referral? Like any good relationship out there, it takes time and the right resources to prove just how reliable, proactive and pivotal you are to their business.
To make this happen, we've compiled the four R's to help drive referrals and score new clients:
Reliability: Instilling trust and illustrating your reliability is critical to getting referrals. To do so you need to make sure you never let anything fall through the cracks. A ticketing system, like the one in Accelo, will help you keep track of everything. It allows you to log time, manage projects, and bill for the short-term work you do for your clients. Accelo also offers a Request Inbox which serves as a centralized inbox for your entire time to oversee, track, and reply to client requests in a timely fashion. Your team can work together in one location to resolve client tickets, and this ensures that you don't forget to respond to tickets or double up on work.
Responsiveness: You can't be reliable without being responsive, so make sure your entire team is equipped with the right information to be helpful! You're not necessarily going to be in the office every day, so enabling your team with the ability to see what you're working on and jump in when needed is key. Make email a team sport with Email Capture, which gives you and your team the ability to connect your emails and contacts to bi-directionally sync between your Accelo account and your go-to email e.g. Outlook or Gmail. This feature provides transparency to your entire team, so if you're out of the office someone else can locate the client in Accelo and find where you last left off in your conversation to lend a hand.
Rapport: To gain that referral you have to tend to the relationship and make your clients feel that they're a truly valued customer. With Accelo, you have the power to manage each client and the critical business functions that pertain to your relationship with them without having to juggle disconnected systems to do it. Have constant access to email communications, control of their budgets, and connect time tracking and billing all in one place. All of this saves you time and allows you to spend more time actually working on the client’s business rather than the back end administrative stuff. This enables you to do a better job for them!
Resources: Once you finish some client work, leverage your automation resources in Accelo to help foster the client relationship with ease. Do so by sending messages with automated emails asking for introductions when needed. And be sure to utilize triggers to configure rules which help automate processes whether that's sending an email reminder, updating the status of your work, or handling tickets. Let the system remind you of when things need to be done and automate as much of those things as possible. You no longer have to remember everything in your head or do it completely on your own.
Apply these four R's to put your best foot forward with each of your client relationships! Try a free trial of Accelo to increase your chances of building a strong, long-lasting client relationship that's as efficient as it is prosperous.