Business Referrals: Are You Too Busy?

Business referrals are the fuel that powers the business growth of alternative investment service providers such as attorneys, CPAs, real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Acquiring new clients through marketing and advertisement is relatively expensive, and it makes financial sense for service providers to focus on obtaining business through direct referrals. Many service providers unwittingly make this process more difficult by being “too busy.” Here is an exchange I commonly have with service providers:

“How are things going?”

“Good, but really busy.”

As busy as they may be—and I don’t doubt them—they may not realize that saying they are “really busy” will make me less likely to send them business referrals. It isn’t just me who feels this way. People don’t generally want to add more work to your plate if you are swamped, nor do they feel comfortable referring someone to you if they think that you don’t have the time to provide excellent service.

If you want to grow your business, you should never be too busy for referrals. Talking about how busy you are makes others less likely to send business to you, so instead talk about how you’re looking for new clients. That sends a clear message that you are ready, willing and able to take any business referrals sent your way.


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