The Ace Up Your Sleeve: Nurturing Your Referral Opportunities

Imagine a deck of cards. A standard deck consists of 52 cards, four of which are aces. For this analogy, the aces represent your best referral opportunities.

What exactly constitutes an “ace” might be different for everyone, but you can generally define one by completing this simple statement:

“An Ace is someone who refers $XX to me or my firm on a [monthly, quarterly, annual] basis.”

Once you determine your dollar amount and time frame, you will better identify your aces.

Continuing with the card analogy, imagine shuffling that deck of cards and then placing them face up one at a time. It’s easy to filter out number cards as they make up nearly 70 percent of the deck. Sometimes, a face card will appear. Since these cards are easy to identify, you might be tempted to stop sorting the deck. At that moment of fatigue, reconsider the parameters you set in the above exercise. Are the jacks meeting the dollar and time frame requirement you indicated above? If the answer is no, keep going and uncover the aces.

We meet many people and develop many relationships throughout our careers. Nearly all will be beneficial in some regard. It is important to identify the aces and carefully nurture those relationships for proactive business development.

Keeping Score

You must maintain up-to-date and accurate records of your referral sources and their results. This will help you easily identify your best business development referral opportunities.

The benefit will be worth the effort. According to a recent study, referred clients are likely to generate 16 percent more in profits and are 18 percent more likely to retain their business relationship with you.

You should focus your business development processes toward referral sources and future clients that will yield a better profit margin. When developing a referral opportunity process, aim to target prospective clients that are similar to or larger than your top-tier clients.

The yield is so high on such targeted development efforts that many successful firms allocate as much as 30 percent of their business development budget to generating referrals. You definitely want to focus your efforts on this!

How Are You Identifying Your Top Referral Sources?

Did you know that ABLE can help drive your referral opportunity strategy by helping you identify, foster, and measure your aces? Schedule a demo to see how ABLE can help your firm.