May 07, 2012

Do You Know a Brick Pointer?

By Lori Braden, Vice President, Strategic Marketing 

I need a referral for someone who can do work on my charming old home. When my husband and I bought our house eight years ago, I had no idea how much “charm” would cost. We’ve replaced the roof, the windows, and spackled more plaster walls than I ever imagined. And now I need a brick pointer. Do you know one?

chatterteeth1Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful ways to gain new business—whether you’re a sole practitioner, at a local or regional firm, or if you’re in general industry. Everybody wants the inside scoop on who will give us the best work at the best price. Personal referrals outweigh even the most expensive ad campaign or direct mail effort. Angie’s List built its business model on it. Angie’s List is a site that provides consumer reviews of professionals in all industries. When you subscribe, you get to read (and write) the good, the bad, and the ugly. LinkedIn and Facebook have made it even easier to poll family, friends, and contacts for referrals and reviews.

As CPAs, you’re in the trust business. People trust you with their finances, their businesses, their retirement, and so much more. So there’s nothing more valuable than a personal referral from a satisfied client.  When you finish working on a project, ask for a referral. Ask a client to share your card with family or friends. Their story is a ringing endorsement of your performance that money literally cannot buy.
gecko and flo1
Consider the decisions you make in your own life about doctors, mechanics, or contractors. Sure, the Geico Gecko is cute and Flo from Progressive is perky, but I’ll stick with the guy who’s handled my family’s insurance for the last 20-plus years. Good old Jim is always available to take my call. Never underestimate the power of the referral. And if you know a brick pointer, send me a quick e-mail.

Never underestimate the power of the referral. And if you know a brick pointer, send me a quick e-mail.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.