During a recent phone conversation with a long-time business friend I discovered a mistake I made that cost me $5,000 in sales last year. To be honest—my mistake most likely cost me more like $35k since my average new client stays with us an average of seven years (and many stay much longer).
During the call with my friend I happened to mention that I was swamped doing year-end tax planning. Especially with the new tax planning clients we had picked up. He acted surprised and said he wished he knew I was taking new tax planning clients because he had a customer who seriously needed help. Adding the tax planning engagement and the preparation fee for preparing his tax returns I estimated that failure to refer cost me about $5,000.
At first, I was irritated that he didn’t refer the customer to me. But then I realized that it was my fault—not his! I had never asked him for referrals!!!
Immediately I thanked him for thinking of me and told him I of course would help his clients cut their tax bills. So please refer them in the future.
Lesson learned—don’t just ask your customers for referrals. Don’t forget to ask for referrals from your business friends & acquaintances who deal with your potential customers.