Your clients, your children and your spouse all know that you’re wonderful. Which is nice, but you’d be wrong to assume those same warm, fuzzy feelings extend beyond your inner circle. There are some individuals who haven’t had the good fortune to experience all of that wonderful you have to offer.
Professionals, such as accountants or solicitors, are a good example of those on the outside of the circle. It’s easy to believe that doing great work is enough to convince them to refer their best clients, but that clearly isn’t the case. The reality is you need to find a way to prove your value.
I'd like to share a single strategy – that of reinforcing value – and a single tactic to help increase referrals from professional connections. I call it the value check-up.
The value check-up is an incredibly simple and powerful tool to reinforce the value you provide, in a way that’s meaningful to your professional referral sources. It’s powerful because it directly addresses the perceived risk that their clients will have a bad experience that could negatively impact their own relationships.
Specifically, it's a one-page survey that you send to clients who have been referred by a professional or centre of influence. It allows you to gather insights on the initial experience the client has had with your firm and requests permission to share that information back with the individual who made the referral.
The value check-up works because it reinforces your value through the eyes of the only people that matter to your centres of influence – their clients.
How does a value check-up work?
When a client is referred by a professional, create a reminder to send a survey in 60 days.
- At the 60-day mark, send a one-page survey that’s personalised for that client.
- Once the feedback is received – and if permission to share the feedback is granted – send a copy of the survey to professional who made the referral.
- Use the opportunity to thank the professional for the referral and to share the feedback.
With this simple act you have done two things. Firstly, you've engaged a new client by demonstrating you care enough to ask for feedback. Secondly, you've reinforced your value with the person who made the referral.
There are no hard and fast rules as to what questions are asked, but I would recommend the following categories:
- Overall satisfaction with the relationship to date
- Satisfaction with between five to seven aspects of the transition or onboarding process. For example, was the process easy? Was the process clearly explained? Are you comfortable with the financial plan?
- Permission to share the results with the person who made the referral.
To help you get started, I’m making a complete sample survey available which includes all the potential questions and flags where you’ll want to personalise the survey. To access the survey, click here and enter your email address.
It’s easy to assume others recognise our value and mildly painful to realise they don’t. I hope this one idea gives you a simple but tangible way to reinforce the great work you do.