I can’t help thinking to myself, what is the matter with business advisors? Why are most of them not taking advantage of client referrals to generate additional income?
Business advisors often describe themselves as either generalists or specialists. Put simply, a specialist can be thought of as someone who has specific (and often deep) expertise in a particular discipline or subject area. – Examples would be:
A generalist typically has experience (and usually contacts) across a range of disciplines and subject areas and very often is more focused on strategy and strategic thinking.
It could also be argued that a generalist is more likely to refer enquiries to other business advisors (particularly if the referral is a specialist or has deep subject knowledge). It could also be argued that generalists are sometimes better networked than specialists. They see the value in having a network of specialists that they can refer to.
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So where does that leave specialists?
Very often specialist business advisors really do suffer from the hunter – farmer conundrum. They win a project and are 100% focused on delivering that project / piece of work to the best of their skills and ability.. This is a good thing from their client’s perspective because good specialists tend to deliver good work. Remember the client has engaged the services of the specialist because they have expertise and experience in a specific area.
But this may not be as good for the advisor because when the project is delivered (finished), very often they will face a ‘work gap’ before they find their next project / client.
And let’s be honest here, for ‘work gap’ read ‘income gap’.
So what is the answer?
The answer is to ‘get with the referral program’. In other words, when they are working for a client (using their specific expertise), ask the client detailed questions about the rest of their business.. Gain a better (and bigger) picture of the client’s business generally and try to find out what other areas they may need help with. (Even if it outside of the advisor’s expertise and comfort zone).
Armed with this information – and supported by a good client relationship – the advisor should be making suggestions and subsequently referring new enquiries to other (trusted) business advisors who have the relevant skill sets.
And make a referral commission.
Making money from referrals is like making money while you sleep.
One great referral area is R and D Tax Credits – it is a hugely positive area of discussion between advisor and client - getting money back from the Government! – What’s not to like?
Both specialist and generalist advisors should connect with a good (proven) practitioner of R and D tax credits and start referring business as soon as they can. It is undoubtedly one of the more lucrative areas of referral.
My advice would be, ‘refer when you can and as often as you can’. Build up an additional income stream and use R and D tax credits as a key mechanism for making more money.
After all, business advisors need to make more money, don’t they?
Hi, I'm an R&D tax credit claims specialist, helping companies save thousands of pounds by reducing their corporation tax payments, or if they are loss making helping them get tax credit cash payments.
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