Grow Your Practice With This 6 Step Introducer Process
Running an Accountancy Practice is hard work – no doubt about it.
In a nutshell, as the partner you are responsible for:
– Your team, and holding them to account in everything that they do
– The systems that are the foundations of how your practice runs
– And ultimately the growth of your practice
The last one is where a lot of Partners in practice fall down.
They’re so busy doing what they do – that they ultimately neglect to spend any real time focused on bringing in new clients and growing their accountancy practice.
The result? You find yourself fighting hard just to stand still.
So here’s a thought…
Wouldn’t it be great if whilst you were busy working in your practice, somebody else was out there actively trying to find you new clients?
You could be busy all of the time – and still, a stream of new clients would come in.
That’s essentially what an introducer does.
They consistently and frequently refer new business to your practice.
All you need to do is make sure your sales process is up to scratch so that they sign on the dotted line.
Want to know the best thing about it? You only need two or three of these key introducers in place before you find yourself with a consistent stream of new clients coming into your practice all of the time.
The 6 Step Introducer Process
I’m going to be completely honest here.
Nothing that I’m covering here is magic.
It’s about systemising and systematically following a proven step by step process.
It’s often the simple things that make the biggest difference, right?
Step 1 – Build Solid Relationships Over Time
This might sound really obvious, it’s an important step nonetheless.
You want to be constantly networking and building new relationships whenever you can – both inside and outside of work.
Step 2 – Get Yourself Out There
When you do this, you don’t just want to be a number in a group…
Wherever you can you want to take the lead, establish authority, and show people that you are somebody worth building a relationship with.
One of my BlackBelt clients Paul, he is the President of his local Chamber of Commerce, and from there he gets selected to head up a number of different things.
Another one of my clients is actively involved with numerous local sports clubs and associations down in Kent.
It’s about making time to get yourself out there, stepping into the limelight and making sure that people want to speak to you.
3. Identify Key Introducer Types
This step is about identifying the key types of people that could refer business to your practice.
From working with my BlackBelt clients I’ve found that typically these three work the best:
Bank Managers – One of my clients has a fantastic relationship with his Barclays bank manager, so much so that they’re always referring new business to each other whenever they can. Another client, also with Barclays, has bank managers come to his premises to give seminars to prospects and clients, which also results in quite a healthy referrals relationship.
IFA’s – Again from the experience of some of my clients they say that IFA’s can be a great introducer for your practice.
BNI – This is perhaps more to do with networking than introducers but these types of networking groups are often fantastic for meeting people who could be willing to refer business to you and vice-versa.
4. Finding Your Introducers
So once you’ve decided which key introducer type you want to spend time focusing on, you need to know where to find them.
Now without sounding obvious, the simplest way is just to ‘google’ them.
Google local banks, IFA’s or BNI groups in your local area.
And then you want to make contact with them.
Here is a process I recommend you do.
Let’s say you want to focus on bank managers as an introducer for your practice.
You google all of the big local banks in your area (most websites will provide you with a name for the manager of that bank)
Then you create a spreadsheet with names + phone numbers of who you need to speak to – and then you call them.
And the call could go something like this:
“Hi name, my name is X, I own an accountancy practice in X and I help clients with XYZ. I’d like to take you for lunch sometime and discuss the possibility of referring some of my clients to you”
There’re very few bank managers (or anybody actually) that would say no to an initial offer like that.
Step 5 – The Power Of Reciprocation
There’s a very good book called The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. If you haven’t read this then I would strongly recommend that you do.
One of the points he makes is that there is power in reciprocation.
And what he means is that if you do something good for somebody, then they will feel more inclined to do something good back for you.
So the point here is that once you’ve identified your key introducer types, and made contact with them, you want to start building relationships with them and leveraging the power of reciprocation.
Take them out for lunch, invite them to play golf, go and watch the football together.
This step is about building those new relationships over time.
Step 6 – Track Your Numbers
This step is probably the most important.
You want to create a system for tracking how many referrals you give, and how many referrals you get from each introducer.
And the easiest way to do this is by using an excel spreadsheet like this one here.
On one tab list all of the referrals you give and to which introducers.
And on another tab list all of the referrals you receive and from who – and whether or not they become clients.
And over time you will find which introducers are worth maintaining relationships with and do in fact refer business to you regularly, and which introducers aren’t perhaps worth the time.
The 2P’s Of Success
I’ve found that for this to work well, there are 2P’s to success:
Patience – you need to be patient and allow time to build these relationships
Persistence – you need to be persistent in your following up with people, and staying on top of them
As with anything, this won’t be an overnight success, but with the right amount of time, focus and energy given to it, you could find yourself with a consistent stream of new clients entering your practice all year round.