So you received a referral – now what?

Practice Management

So you received a referral – now what?

Once you have received a referral, make sure you have the proper etiquette strategy in place to keep them coming.

After all your hard work to build a trusting, successful relationship, one of your best clients has paid you back with a referral. But before you make a phone call or set up a meeting with the prospect, there’s something important you need to say: Thank you.

Always say thank you. Find a way to show your appreciation that suits your relationship, your brand, or – more intuitively – would be most appreciated by your client. A token of your gratitude is not only a courtesy, it shows that you recognize that your client “went out on a limb” on your behalf.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Send a handwritten thank-you note by mail.
  • Call the referrer to say thank you personally.
  • Hold an annual “thank you” dinner for all the clients who made a referral during the year.
  • Invite both the referrer and the new client out to lunch, your treat.
  • Send or drop off a personal gift – such as a bottle of wine or a gift card.

Once you’ve found your way to say thank you, it’s important that you don’t stop there. After you’ve officially met with the “referee,” be sure to update your client. Let him or her know how the meeting went with a quick call or email to say “We really hit it off and are planning to get together again next week” or “I appreciate your help, but I wasn’t the best fit for Joe, so I referred him to my CPA friend who can better help him address his needs.” 



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