Referral acquisition is no longer reliant on word of mouth. Just a few short years ago, in order to cultivate referrals, accountants needed to deliver good products and service, communicate consistently, and give clients an experience to talk with others about. Today, all of that is still true but becomes meaningless unless what people are ultimately saying about you matches what can be found online.
If someone verbally recommends your services to someone, you have only reached the first step. Today, nine out of ten people will search for you online before coming in to visit you. Why? Because they can (and should) do some due diligence before sharing personal financial information with someone.
The problem begins if people can’t locate you online or if what they find is not up to date, clear or sharing the benefits of you and your firm. Or, even worse, what if what is found out about you online doesn’t come close to matching the perception that they had in their mind about you after being referred? It’s a big reason why referrals may not be converted into appointments and sales. Ask yourself, ‘Does my online presence match with who I really am?’
To create that matching perception, your website home page should include answers to four critical questions. If not, it’s time to make some immediate changes.
Four questions your website should clearly answer:
1. What do you do?
2. Who do you serve?
3. What is unique about you?
4. Why should someone do business with you, and what are the benefits and value that they will derive?
If you think you should be receiving more referrals based on the good job you are doing for your clients, look first to your website. Your clients are likely talking about you if you are doing the type of work they consider valuable. Your website and overall online presence may be the cause of unfortunate fumbles at the very time that you are seconds away from converting those referrals into appointments and sales.