You’ve received an enquiry in response to your bookkeeping tutoring ad, however, after asking a few questions and ascertaining their needs you realise that the solution to their problem falls outside of the scope of services you provide.

That’s the end of the call, right? Not necessarily.

Every Enquiry Is An Opportunity

Every time your receive an enquiry about your services, you have an opportunity to:

  • Acquire new clients
  • Showcase your expertise
  • Grow your network
  • Build your reputation

People who enquire about your bookkeeping or office administration services are seeking to solve a problem. Something about your ad captured their attention and compelled them to call you. Before they even pick up the phone, they have an expectation that you are the right person to speak to.

If it turns out that you are unable to assist, you can still provide value by referring them to another service provider or a resource that meets their needs.

Why Are Referrals Good For My Business?

You may be thinking “why would I want to send the prospect elsewhere if there is no immediate financial benefit to my business?”

  1. Your prospect will remember their interaction with you as being a positive experience.
  2. They may have use for your services in the future.
  3. They may refer you to other businesses with a need for your services.
  4. The referred business might return the favour some day.
  5. The prospect might decide to leave you a favourable review on Google.
  6. You will feel good about helping them! The satisfaction that comes from helping someone and expecting nothing in return will boost your confidence and motivation.

How To Build A Referral Network

Building an extensive referral network can take time, but there are a number of ways that you can start to grow your list of contacts:

  1. Connect with industry professionals on social media. LinkedIn connections and industry specific Facebook groups can provide opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking.
  2. Subscribe to professional associations and industry groups and stay up to date with current trends and achievements.
  3. Be proactive and introduce yourself to new people. Attend industry networking events, seminars and webinars.
  4. Follow experts such as ‘The Referral Guru’ Michael Griffiths, who coach entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses through referrals and partnerships. 
  5. Familiarise yourself with the courses offered by the Australian Small Business Centre so that you can demonstrate your knowledge of the resources available. For example, you might decide that your prospect would benefit from enrolling in a payroll course or getting access to some free resources such as the Xero Accounting Training Course Manual and Workbook.

Tap into a global network by joining organisations such as BNI. The BNI business networking platform provides training and support to help build trusted relationships that generate referrals and business growth.

Keep In Touch

Imagine the surprise and delight of your prospect when three weeks after your call, they receive an unprompted email or call from you with some helpful information that is relevant to their issue.

Before you end an enquiry call, make sure you ask them for their email address and let them know that you will keep them in mind if anything useful crosses your desk.

This lets them know that you are genuinely interested in their business and that you are willing to take time out of your day for them.

An interesting news story, a link to an online resource or a referral to an industry contact can make their job so much easier and generate goodwill in the process.


By establishing professional relationships and cultivating industry connections you have an opportunity to grow your business exponentially — and to some degree — passively. If you continue this practice consistently and diligently, not only will you be able to reduce your paid advertising spend, you will also gain respect, credibility and trust.

Need help with writing an ad for Xero bookkeeping tutoring?

See Josika’s ad as an example. Visit:

Xero Training Course Video Tutorial Library


If you are looking for a low cost Xero training video library, Learn Express Xero Training Tutorials offer training on the complete range of Xero skills from invoicing to payroll, BAS and Reporting. PLUS there is a low cost 10 day trial available.