It’s a well known fact in the world of sales that the best time to ask for referrals is right after closing a sale.
Why is this?
When a new customer has made the decision to purchase your services, they are at the highest point emotionally that they will ever be towards you right at that moment.
Successful sales and marketing professionals (and remember, that’s what you are first and foremost) will capitalize on this by asking for referrals at this critical time. Think about it: Your tax prep clients are happiest with you when they have made a purchase. In other words, the best time to ask them for referrals is when their tax return is done, they’re relieved that another tax return is done and gone, and they’re writing you a check.
So, that’s priority number one: From here on out, always ask clients for referrals when they come to pick up their return.
But, what if you haven’t been doing this all tax season? What if you don’t even do tax prep, but have a slew of old case files from collections representation work that you’d suddenly like to try to get referrals from?
Never fear, because your referral generation template letter is here!
The key to using a letter to obtain referrals from client, regardless of how long ago or how recently the client interaction, is to always remind clients about the value they received from you. Then, let them know that other people they know can get the same benefit, making them look like a rock star for putting the two of you in touch.
If the preceding paragraph didn’t completely sink in, you may want to re-read it. In two sentences, you have the entire idea behind referral systems that cost thousands of dollars to obtain from seminars. If you can really understand this basic concept and apply it to your business, you can drastically increase the growth rate of your business from referrals.
To ask for referrals, all you need to do is ask. I know that many practitioners are too shy to ask for referrals in person, or think it’s unprofessional. If you know that your services provide great value to your clients, then you should honestly have no qualms about asking people for referrals. Why hide yourself from somebody that desperately needs your help?
So if you’re too shy to ask in person, then there is an easy way to go about this: Let your marketing do the heavy lifting for you. Using a template letter such as the one below, and sending it to all of your clients immediately after they have picked up your tax return, serves several purposes:
- Reminds clients of the value they received from you, reducing the potential for “buyer’s remorse”.
- Invites them to refer other clients to you, at a time when they are most satisfied with you.
- Demonstrates that you think about them after the sale, increasing the know/like/trust factor.
The following template letter is intended to be used for tax preparation clients, but some simple modification can make it useful for other tax and accounting services, also. Just remember the cardinal rules outlined up above.
Premium Members can download the template letter below. I would suggest sending this immediately following a client coming to pick up their tax documents. In other words, add it to your tax prep client filing checklist, and draft this letter as part of your process for assembling their return, and drop it in the outgoing mail the moment they walk out the door, before you put their file back in the filing cabinet.
Note: Be sure to put this on letterhead, and modify to your needs. Don’t just leave my bracketed comments in place, that wouldn’t do you much good. 🙂