Monday, February 12, 2007

Referral Backfire

Today, I was at a lunchtime networking event. Two people had never attended before. Near the end of the meeting, they said that they had a question to ask all of us about accepting referral appointments. It seems that an acquaintance had given their names, as new business owners, to a CPA. The CPA called them and
suggested a meeting. They agreed.

After meeting for about an hour, during which the CPA said that they didn't really need his services yet, that they were doing everything right. He also said, "Well, it is about an hour of my time at this point, so would you like me to invoice you? My rate is $90 per hour."

These new business owners were shocked. They said that he had spent a majority of the time telling them about his services and what he could do for them. They were asking us for direction. Had they been unaware of the way referrals work?

We assured them that what had happened was unfortunate and not right. We also encouraged them to get back to the original referral source to let that person know what had happened.

I would call this scenario referral prospecting at its worst.

Have you ever been backed into a corner like these business people were?

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