Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tip #6 - Cultivate referral sources

Professional practices count on referrals for new business. Don't neglect this important part of your effort to bring in new clients. As you build a referral network, keep in touch with them.

• Communicate regularly through an e-mail or e-mail newsletters

• Call at regular intervals - perhaps monthly or quarterly. Tell them about your latest success and any new services that you have.

• Gain insight from them about the needs of prospective clients. Consider sending a survey.

• Send PDFs of white papers or case studies (let the results speak for themselves).

• Share media coverage, online articles or other news about your profession that will help your referral sources know who to refer to your practice.

• This may seem basic, but it helps to describe the type of client you are looking for. In my business, I seek out VPs of philanthropy departments at universities, health care systems and nonprofits so I can help them create case statements, donor information and proposals. For my professional service practice, I seek out owners of medical offices, other health care providers, lawyers, accountants and recruiters with practices of around 8 to 12 or more professional staff. Then I can develop a marketing plan and implement it. For marketing departments at corporations, I seek out the marketing director to produce community reports, annual reports, newsletters and brochures and write speeches.

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