[IMGCAP(1)]Few new partners in today’s environment are handed the keys to the partnership, a book of business, with the simple expectation of “just don’t lose it.” In fact, a condition of entry into the partnership is often to prove your worth in terms of revenue generation. This can be a challenging task, particularly if you don’t have a good guide, mentor or coach. The good news is that there are several strategies you can employ to make the task of finding new business significantly easier.
Whether you are a new partner, a future partner or even an established partner, the following tips will help to accelerate your success in business generation:
1. Start with your clients. Call every client you have a relationship with and ask to get a coffee, lunch, cocktail, etc. Tell them you are trying to earn your keep and grow your practice, and ask if they could help. Ask for introductions to their best customers, vendors and other centers of influence (including their attorney, banker and insurance professional) who could be potential clients or refer you business. Make sure you are prepared with a description of the type of clients you seek so you are getting referrals you really want.
2. Next, move on to your referral sources. Contact everyone in your network. Seek to reinvigorate old/cold relationships. A significant component of who gets a referral is determined by who reciprocated recently and/or who saw the referral source most recently. With all the client contact and center of influence activity from the first recommendation, you should have plenty of opportunities to make connections, introductions, and even potentially outbound referrals to your network.
3. Cull your LinkedIn account for cooler contacts who may have a strong center of influence. Reach out and ask for a meeting. Tell them the same thing you told your clients (that you are trying to earn your keep and grow your practice and were hoping they could help). Ask for introductions to ideal referral sources, potential clients and contacts who may be of value to you. Meet with those people and determine if you can make something happen.
4. Finally, seek out a business association, trade group or civic organization that has a population of people involved who may be of value to you and your network. Join and get involved. Go to meetings, make introductions, and evaluate the potential for referrals and new business.
By the time you get to step two, you may be out of time for marketing! That is by design. Starting with people you know best and can help you the most is always the best (and easiest) place to start. My first boss, Cliff, always told me that that if I didn’t have much going on, to pull up my client database and “start with the A’s” and by the time you get to “D” you will be so busy that you won’t know what to do.
Congratulations again on making partner. Now go get new business.
Art Kuesel is the president of Kuesel Consulting where he helps CPA firms perfect their growth strategies and actions to drive revenue in the door. He can be reached at email@example.com or 312-208-8774.