Lewis Weinstein’s professional referral website was having trouble gaining traction. ReferralKey seemed like a good idea but unfortunately it wasn’t creating the buzz that he had hoped for.
Weinstein, a third-gen tax accountant, knew that there a few rewards that could relate to most people – religious types and vegetarians be damned – that could possibly help his website take off:
Weinstein, a serial entrepreneur and third-generation tax accountant in Needham, found that professionals using the site felt it just wasn’t helping them generate enough new business. “The common response was, ‘I thought you were gonna send me referrals,'” he says.
That’s where the steaks come in.
Users of the site can also upload their databases of clients and send out a message encouraging them to refer their friends and relatives to their trusty financial planner, for instance. “The site will track what happens as a result, and offer them an Omaha Steaks gift certificate, one from Callaway Golf, or one from L.L. Bean, for the new business that gets generated,” says Weinstein.
Sure golf stuff and LL Bean could be nice but Weinstein knows that few can resist the lure of sweet, sweet flesh during the dead of summer, thus he knew he had a winner on his hands. “Since [the red meat awards began], it has grown to just over 32,000 members. He raised a first round of about $1 million from individual investors to launch the site, and says he’s now hoping to raise a $3 million second round from venture capital firms.”
Now whether he stumbled upon this particular bit of heart disease generating ingenuity by way of KPMG is not clear, however since the House that Klynveld built has been tossing out the sirloins for a few years now, he can hardly be comfortable taking this idea as his own.
‘Thanks for the referral. Here’s your steak.’ [Boston Globe]