How people referred to you behave (and how many you might be missing)

How people referred to you behave (and how many you might be missing)

How people referred to you behave (and how many you might be missing)

People who are recommended to you almost never simply pick up the phone and call you.

They do research. They think. They go through a lot of pain. They wonder and worry. They put it off. They go to your website. They follow you on social. They ask for recommendations. They think about it longer.

It’s really important you understand what an incredibly long process this can be for your firm, and the import it has to your marketing.

Here’s my personal example.

I’ve been meaning to find a really good dentist for a long time. Almost two years, in fact.

It all started with a very simple issue. An old filling (one I’d had for about 20 years) fell out. No worries, I’d get that sorted out. Went to dentist, after a bit of faffing about as per usual (long delays on appointments, multiple appointments, etc) they replaced it. Then it fell out again. Then more pain and we didn’t know why. Then a root canal. Then seeing a specialist when I was visiting the States, and a triple root canal. I won’t go on because I don’t want to think about it.

But recently, another filling fell out.

And I realised I’d hit my limit.

Two years of a significant amount of pain, an inexpert dentist in Scotland who made things much worse, a specialist dentist in the States who was amazing but who it’s unrealistic for me to see regularly, feeling fearful about trying yet another dentist, and regularly despairing of the process.

I was sick of going through this with sub-par dentists, and it’s not practical to keep visiting multiple specialists in another country.

So (and this is how it’s relevant to your prospective clients), here’s what I did:

1. Asked for help on LinkedIn and Twitter.

View LinkedIn post

View Twitter post

2. Got several recommendations (you can see them in the comments and replies).

3. One of my friends tagged someone I forgot I had met before, who specialises exclusively in dentists (so she knows a lot of them, and knows the good ones).

4. This person sent me a DM on twitter, asked me questions about the issues I had and the type of dentist i needed, and we had a fairly long DM conversation.

5. She suggested four dentists in my area based on what I’d shared.

6. I reviewed what she said about each and went to the one which seemed the best from the list. And then I….

7. Went to their website (on my mobile, because I was lying in bed feeling sort of miserable)

8. Skimmed through a few pages on the website. Noticed they talked a lot about dental anxiety (which I absolutely have) and I appreciated their addressing this very real issue

9. Watched a video by one of the dentists about dental anxiety

10. Noted they have won many awards. Checked the years to see if it was a long time ago or recent, and saw that at least one of them was within the past year

11. Clicked through to their social platforms. Skimmed through the content, noticing they post regularly and on things relevant to my issues, and they seem positive and friendly

12. Read some very detailed testimonials. One of these was from someone who had ignored an issue for two years because she was afraid and had had bad dentist experiences….which is exactly how I feel. She said they could not have been more helpful and set her at ease, and sorted her issue.

13. The call to action on the website (everywhere) was to call, so…I called.

14. The call was answered quickly and the person who spoke to me took all my details, asked specific questions about my issues, spent time listening to me and yet was efficient too, told me about any costs I would incur, advised about how the appointment could go (and how it might not go), and asked if I could get x rays from my dentist in the States, to help them at the appointment.

15. I booked the appointment.

16. Messaged the person who had recommended me, and told her I’ve booked it. She asked which dentist I’m seeing, and we had a chat about it. I promised to let her know how it went.

That’s 15 steps that I took from asking for a referral.

I haven’t even signed up yet to do lots and lots of work with this dental practice (although I hope and pray this will be the one who can sort my problems so I never have to go through this again!!).

Like me, your prospective clients have concerns, fears, worries, pain.

They may have been treated really badly. They may not even think it’s possible that an accountant like you exists. I was beginning to doubt that a great dentist was possible, and had given in to accepting a bad dentist, and presuming that the next dentist I got would put me through more pain.

In order to overcome that pain, and to prevent more of it….

Your prospective clients do research.

They check things.

They read things.

They watch videos.

They ask other people.

They take their time.

It doesn’t look like this dental practice “got a lead from their website” – it looks like it “came from a referral”.

But everything combined together. Their website, their brand, the awards, the social media activity, the recommendation from an expert, the personal conversations with that expert before and after, the videos….

Next up is the appointment, and their quoting for and starting the work, which is part of the marketing experience too.

I read a statistic from Hinge Marketing Institute that nearly 48% of people who were referred to an accountant never got in touch – because of the website, or the social, or the overall marketing, or the lack thereof.

Look at all these steps and look at the prospect experience you’re building. And start filling in the gaps, so you don’t miss any referrals!

Who have you been referred to recently? How did that go?

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Well. So. Small update.

Was out hiking on mull and slipped on a rock crossing a burn, and broke my ankle. (I remember hearing an audible “crack” as I went down.)

No signal on phone. Managed to climb down a ravine to get to a more open place and hopefully signal. At that point still convinced it “wasn’t that bad”. Tried to walk along the path and realised yes, it was that bad.

Phoned coast guard, who were utter legends. Sent a boat AND a helicopter. Sun was setting and they didn’t want me sitting in the dark. Oh my word it was cold. Helicoptered out to fort William hospital (nicest people ever), then down to airdrie where I got a cast.

Ankle broken in one place. Doctors pleased (as much as you can be!) it’s a clean break & lining up well. I’ll be down for 4-6 weeks.

I’ve repeated myself a lot over the last few days so here’s the short version to all the questions, with appreciation for the care.

Yes, I’m okay. I’m also utterly exhausted & have hit the “damn, this is going to be a long road” phase. Taking it one day, one hour at a time. 

I’m being looked after. Very kind friends and things being delivered. My amazing sister @secondsunrise2 flying in tomorrow from america to be with me for a few weeks. SO grateful.

What do I need? I’m good on the basics. There have been unexpected costs and more coming so if you want to PayPal monies for deliveries or getting my car & belongings back or all the taxis or whatever, feel free. I’m hardly destitute so only do that if you want to send something useful and aren’t sure what. PayPal username karenlreyburn. Amazon wishlist in bio. Random care packages also happily received!

My car & belongings are up on mull. I have people to help and we are working on timing. But if you’re on mull and want to return a car near Glasgow, let me know :)

Shout out to the Coast Guard for being so swift, & that beautiful combination of sympathy and practicality.

Download the @what3words app. Literal lifesaver.

That’s all for now. All the love. Oh - and no, I don’t hold this against mull at all. It’s still my happy place. Things happen & the mull community has been beautiful. Shout out to @treshnish who couldn’t have been kinder. ❤️
Morning walk. I stood and watched the ferry come in and the sun lighten this little edge of the world.
Been going through old photos and letters - the last of the boxes i had stored at my sister’s house in america. 

When I first moved to Scotland, I only planned to live here for a few years and then go back. Then after a few years I wasn’t ready yet…then I got my residency…still not quite ready….then started a business…then Scottish citizenship…bought a house …finally accepted this is my home and I wasn’t moving back. 

And with every visit back to the states I would go through more boxes, more photos and letters and memories. I’d keep some and throw others away; take photos out of frames and give away the frames; and as time went on I was able to distinguish between the ones I definitely wanted and needed to keep, and those which were lovely at the time but didn’t need to be saved anymore.

Over twenty years on and this past trip I went through the very last of the boxes. I joked to my sister that I’ve now officially settled into Scotland 😆 

This photo of me and my Gramps is a fave and definitely a keeper. Most of the photos and letters I’ve kept are those of family - parents, grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews. And as much as I love taking landscape photos, I noticed that 20 years later it’s the people photos I am more likely to keep. Thankful for the traditions and patterns of seeing family every year or so since moving to Scotland. They’re small things - baking Christmas cookies and going for walks and going for road trips - but it’s the time together and the continuing family jokes and the memories which remain. And a few photos.

My grandfather (and all my grandparents) have now passed on, but I remember with fondness sitting around at their kitchen table, eating fresh vegetables from the garden, playing scrabble, laughing and talking and drinking coffee.

It’s the small things, and the rhythms of family, which last. ❤️ 
#family #memories #grandparents #oldphotos
Made fresh mince pies for the first time ever. Over twenty years in Scotland and I’d never tried to make them from scratch, so I figured…now is the time! I’m doing lots of thanksgiving baking (yes, we stretch it out here so I’m still prepping!) and decided to buy the ingredients. 

Dried fruit…mixed peel…lots of spices…and Venezuelan rum :) I made up the mincemeat last night, and then today put it in the little pastries and even cut out the wee stars to go on top!

I think I can safely say they’re the best mince pies I’ve ever had. Fresh out of the oven sprinkled with icing sugar and with a glass of said rum alongside :) 

Now we are curled up with a Harry Potter marathon, with plenty of mince pies AND a thanksgiving feast still to come. Happiness! 

#mincepies #homebaking #maryberry #maryberryrecipe #happythanksgiving #happychristmas #harrypotter #hpmarathon