You probably felt great after having those nice conversations with CPAs, estate planners or other ancillary professionals. You thought you had a meeting of the minds and a nice source of referrals. You sent them referrals to sweeten the pot. Then you wait… And wait… And wait some more. Nothing happens. No referrals. You are probably wondering what you did wrong.
Here are two reasons why this might be happening:
- Some individuals are focused solely on delivering their own services that they don’t trust other professionals.Even though such a professional has a customers base that is a good fit for you and would benefit from your services, this person will not share his clients with you. You need to have a talk with your prospective alliance partners and explore their attitudes about sharing. If you find any who are not open, then it is time to move on and find other professionals to replace them.
- You didn’t stand out.CAPs, and other ancillary professionals are approached all the time by individuals like yourself. The description of what is unique about what you do needs to stand out. You may not have communicated to your strategic alliance that you specialize in providing solutions for a specific niche. You are seen as just one of another dime-a-dozen individuals.
You will stand out when you can explain the sophisticated solutions you provide for your clients. It is not enough to list all that you offer and the solutions you can manage. You will need a well-crafted and compelling marketing message that tells the great results you provide for a specific group of people. Now you need to back this up with real stories of how your clients have benefited from the solutions you offered. This makes them think of you when the right clients need you. When you can paint a clear picture of whom you help, it is easier to refer to you.
Don’t forget that a lot of Alliance Firms have reached a level where they are not taking on new clients. You want a firm that is in a growth mode. They are talking with new clients, new things are going on and are at a point where they just might need solutions for their clientele that you offer. So, find a firm that is focused on getting new clients. Their new clients often have immediate needs for your solutions, so it is logical for them to refer them to you. Growing companies are the ones who can become great alliances. Again, walk away from unproductive alliances.