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THE 5 MINUTE FRACTIONAL CFO

085: Don't Be Shy, Ask For More Referrals

May 31, 2024

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085: Don't Be Shy, Ask For More Referrals

May 31, 2024

You're being too passive and too ambiguous when it comes to getting referrals, and this is costing you revenue and profit.

Asking your network, clients, vendors, and friends for referrals can be a literal gold mine of untapped revenue for your firm. 

We all know that and certainly love it when those referrals come a knockin'!  

In many ways, referrals are the best leads everThey are typically warm leads, and since someone recommended you, there's already built-in trust. 

Winner winner.

But isn't it also true that you've taken an overly passive and ambiguous approach to getting those referrals? 

Most of us aren't reaching out consistently to our networks to ask for referrals. And most of the time, when we do, it goes something like this: 

You: Hey Amanda! I'm looking to grow my Fractional CFO firm. Know anyone that might need my services? 

Amanda: OMG that's so awesome. I'm so happy for you! If anyone comes to mind I will FOR SURE let you know.

You: OK! Thanks! 

Well, that was productive.

Let's level that up, shall we? 

Today, I want to share a few quick tips that will help you get more referrals from your referral sources. 

Tip 1 - Define Your Ideal Client

A great way to get more out of your referral sources is by giving them clarity as to what a good client for you looks like. 

Address things like industry, geography, revenue range, or any other psychographic or demographic preferences you have. You know, tell them what your niche is.

Here are two approaches: 

Approach 1: 
Hey Amanda. Do you know anyone who could use my services?

Approach 2:
Hey Amanda, my firm targets businesses in the Dallas area in the construction trades and moving industries, typically with revenues in the $5MM+ range. Do you know anyone like that who might need my services?

Which do you think is more likely to result in Amanda teeing you up a referral?

Tip 2 - Define the Problem You Solve

Help your referral sources understand the types of problems you solve for your clients and do NOT assume they already know. This will help them identify referrals.

Again, let's look at two approaches here. This time, we'll build on the previous approach.

Approach #1:
Hey Amanda. Do you know anyone who could use my services?

Approach 2:
Hey Amanda, my firm targets businesses in the Dallas area in the construction trades and moving industries, typically with revenues in the $5MM+ range. We help them improve profitability, increase cash flows, pay down debt, and put strategic financial plans in place. Do you know anyone who could use that kind of help?

Tip 3 - What's In It For Them?

Sometimes, it's easy for referral requests to sound self-serving. I mean, it is self-serving to a degree - we are looking for more clients. But there can definitely be value there for the referrer! 

For example, my firm loves partnering with commercial bankers, especially loan officers. They have a problem we solve: they get new leads that want to borrow money but their financials are horrible and they lack any forecasts or projections. Fractional CFOs can solve said problems. 

Maybe your referral partners don't have those kinds of issues. Maybe the value you bring to them comes in the form of a referral fee.

Again, here are two approaches you could take:

Approach #1:
Hey Amanda. Do you know anyone who could use my services?

Approach 2:
Hey Amanda, my firm targets businesses in the Dallas area in the construction trades and moving industries, typically with revenues in the $5MM+ range. We help them improve profitability, increase cash flows, pay down debt, and put strategic financial plans in place. Do you know anyone who could use those services? Oh, and don't forget - if you refer anyone to me that ends up becoming a client, I'll pay you a $1000 referral fee!  

Tip 4 - Narrow it Down for Them 

This final tip is a small but mighty change in the way you ask for referrals. 

Instead of asking your referral sources if they know of anyone who could use your services, ask them who the first person that comes to mind is who could use your services.

For some reason, when you challenge them to think of just ONE person, they tend to come up with a name about 2x more often! 

It's crazyI'm not sure what the psychology is here, but it works. 

Don't believe me, just try it. 

Let's compare the two approaches again: 

Approach #1:
Hey Amanda. Do you know anyone who could use my services?

Approach 2:
Hey Amanda, my firm targets businesses in the Dallas area in the construction trades and moving industries, typically with revenues in the $5MM+ range. We help them improve profitability, increase cash flows, pay down debt, and put strategic financial plans in place. Oh, and don't forget - if you refer anyone to me that ends up becoming a client, I'll pay you a $1000 referral fee! Who is the first person that comes to mind that could benefit from my services?

Tip 5 - Put Time on the Calendar

Put time on your calendar to reach out to your referral sources. Set up recurring tasks every month or quarter with specific people you need to reconnect with. 

Do NOT just sit back and hope they randomly think about you. 

Your Coach,
Michael

Whenever you are ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. 1:1 Coaching with Michael King -Get hands-on support and fast track your firm’s growth by working directly with me. 

  2. The Inner Circle - every month my team and I go live and share the most impactful lessons we've learned in our journey to start, scale, and optimize our own Fractional CFO firm (including live Q&A). Plus you'll get access to our private community of nearly 200+ Fractional CFOs.

  3.  If you'd like more amazing (and free!) content about starting, scaling, or optimizing your Fractional CFO firm check out The CFO Report.

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