Since January I have been going to 2-3 networking events per week. I have learned a lot and still have a long way to go. One thing I have certainly learned is how to listen carefully and how to give a quality referral. I have also learned how to effectively ask for a referral.
Last week in a fairly casual networking event I was intently listening to a business owner tell me about what he does in detail. When he was done I asked him: “Who would be an ideal referral for you?” His response: “Basically anybody that needs his service” (kept industry confidential to keep from embarrassing him). When he said that do you know who I thought of? Nobody.
When asking for a referral do not use the word anybody because I think of nobody.
I will run through an example with my business.
“I am Matt Roberge from Salt Lake City Bookkeeping. Today I am looking for any business owner that needs ongoing bookkeeping support.” Did you think of anybody? Maybe you did but I doubt you thought of anyone specific.
How about this:
“Good morning my name is Matt Roberge and I am the owner of Salt Lake City Bookkeeping. We are Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisors that provide bookkeeping services to small businesses of up to 100 employees. Today I am looking for a business owner that is struggling to get their 2009 accounting records to their CPA. We just completed an entire year’s worth of bookkeeping for a client that had over 10,000 transactions in 2009 and all the work got done in two days. I am specifically looking to add another restaurant as a client as I have over eight years of restaurant bookkeeping experience.”
For me this is even a little long winded and I would probably do this as two separate pitches. Anyway you probably get the idea. When asking for a referral be specific and don’t use the word anybody because those who are actually listening with think of nobody.
I’m no sales guru so did I miss something?
Does anybody know a business owner that is struggling to get their accounting records to their CPA? April 15th is getting awful close. Have them email me.