As we’re well into another tax season, there’s still time for accountants and tax professionals to bring in new business going into the home stretch. The next two months will be rush time for tax preparers, so it may be difficult to find the time to drum up marketing efforts.
That’s why B2B referrals are so important – you can leverage your client base to boost your marketing efforts for you. After all, marketing is just as crucial now as ever, if not more so.
Forbes has recognized referrals as some of the most valuable leads a company can get, with 78% of B2B marketers saying referral programs culminate in excellent or good leads and 60% of marketers crediting referral programs for a high volume of leads. With referrals playing such a critical role in bringing in new business during tax season, now is the time to revisit your referrals program and make sure it’s achieving the results you want.
Winning Referral Strategies
Despite all the current advances in technology that allow you to reach a broader audience than ever before, word of mouth is still one of the strongest marketing tools there is. This is especially true in a world where face-to-face contact with current and prospective clients is still limited. Referrals are a great way to fill that gap and shore up your overall marketing plan.
Are your referral rates up to your expectations? If not, you might want to consider incorporating some of the following measures into your referral program:
- Unique or creative incentives like gift cards or cash back for clients who refer you new business are a win-win – you land new clients while also keeping your current clients happy. Better yet, none of this is distracting you from your core work during peak tax season.
- Referral incentives can also take less tangible forms like upgrades or discounts on your services. These strategies have the added benefit of keeping your clients engaged with your product and services, strengthening their loyalty in the process (which will lead to even more referrals down the road).
- Offering easy and even customized links makes it possible for your satisfied customers to promote your services to their colleagues with almost no effort. Personalized links also make it easier to attribute referrals to specific customers.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for your referrals. It’s great if you clients do it of their own accord, but being proactive can make all the difference. This is especially true for your most valued clients – any and all personal contact helps to keep your name at the front of their minds, which is crucial during peak tax season.
- Consider making your referral incentives continuing – they don’t have to, and indeed shouldn’t, end once the referral information is provided. The referring party can receive additional rewards when the referred party actually signs on for services, and the rewards can be paid forward to your new clients as well, which will increase the likelihood that the referral chain will keep moving forward.
When you’ve run a successful tax practice for a number of years, you likely have plenty of satisfied customers who are willing to spread the word about your products and services. Those happy customers, in turn, likely have extensive networks of colleagues who could be your new clients.
You have enough on your plate during peak tax season that you might feel like you don’t have time to devote to marketing, as crucial as it is. With the right referral strategy, you can rely on word of mouth to do some of the heaving lifting for you. The time is now to revisit your referral strategy and see if you’re making the most of your current client base.