An effective advisor should continually be on the lookout for new clients and possibilities. Requesting referrals, on the other hand, is never simple.
It’s difficult to strike the perfect balance between being upfront about yourself and your services in the hopes of making a sale later on and being pushy to the point of aggravation.
Nonetheless, referrals are a vital component of every financial advisor’s business, and they are frequently the most effective approach to reach out to potential clients.
Here are a few pointers on how to obtain one. They may make requesting and receiving a referral a little easier and a lot more fruitful.
- Referrals to new clients are the lifeblood of the business in the financial advisory industry.
- Getting good referrals means being professional, serving your clients first, and doing a good job so that existing clients will want to tell their friends and family about you.
- The use of incentives, social media marketing, and professional networking thru local organizations or societies can also help get your name out there and build your reputation.
Give a Little, Get a Little
If you really want your present customers to tell their friends and family about you, you might have to give them something in return. Setting up a reward program for clients who successfully refer you to one of their contacts is one approach to do so.
If the reference leads to a meeting with a potential client, a gift is a good way to express your gratitude. Inform all of your clients that you would provide a complimentary financial review to anyone who refers you.
Then, as a reward, give them a store-bought gift or a gift certificate if they followed through on building a relationship. Chocolate, wine, and champagne are always welcome, as are department gift vouchers.
Another approach is to offer a discount on the services you offer to the clients providing you with a successful referral.
An announcement on your website or in client emails is one approach to get the word out about your referral incentive program. When it comes to giving gifts to clients, just make sure you follow all applicable requirements. You might also want to rotate the gifts you give out so that your clients are more likely to make several referrals.
You might also hold a contest for your customers. The contest and award go to the client who offers you the most actionable referrals.
You might have first, second, and third place winners to attract more people to participate. Again, inform them about the contest at meetings or on your website.
Use Social Media
These days, more and more businesses are adopting social media channels from companies like LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD), Meta Platforms Inc., formerly Facebook (FB), and Twitter Inc. (TWTR) to spread their message.
The more you connect with your customers on social media, the more likely your message will reach their friends and coworkers. Create a Facebook page for your business and ask your current clients to “like” it, then ask them to share it with their friends and coworkers.
Don’t be afraid to remind your clients of how your financial and estate planning services have helped them and others, so they may use those examples to sell you.
You might also want to start a weekly or monthly blog on your website, with a comments section that could become a platform for interesting and relevant discussions.
If a client reads something on your blog that seems relevant to a friend or colleague, the link can be forwarded to that person. In this way, your written words can speak for you and often can be just as good as a word-of-mouth referral.
Make Use of Organizations, Societies
Making referrals to local groups can also be a fantastic way to meet a large number of like-minded people at once. Offer to give a discussion to the group about the significance of financial planning, followed by a question-and-answer session so that people can get to know you better and discuss what’s on their minds.
Remember to bring business cards and information about your company for people to read and take away. You might even wish to organize a poll to solicit comments on your presentation and permission to contact attendees by phone or email.
You could look up which of your clients work at large corporations, and then ask them directly if there might be an opportunity for you to talk with the human resources department at the company about offering your services to their employees.
If you specialize in a niche, target those organizations that cater to the relevant type of person or group of people in the specialty in question.
Is there a lawyer or insurance agent you admire that you’ve previously worked with? If that’s the case, you may create a deal with that person to trade connections or approach all of your combined contacts as a group.
You can offer a variety of services to a group of people in this fashion, and the offer will come from at least one person they already know and trust.
You might also request that these specialists write a testimonial for you and your services, which you can put on your website or social media accounts. It’s free publicity, and it’s coming from individuals who know and appreciate your work.
Don’t be afraid to periodically remind your current roster of clients that you are looking for referrals. The best time to do this is often at the end of a productive meeting.
You can bring up the fact that you are offering initial meetings with prospective clients free of charge, and that you would be happy to answer any questions their friends or contacts may have.
Again, you don’t need to feel like you are asking this person to do you a big favor; rather, approach it as a way of getting the word out about your services to people who potentially need them.
The Bottom Line
A referral from a friend, colleague, or industry expert can go a long way toward getting more prospective clients to give you a call.
Being proactive about asking for referrals and using social media or connections with organizations and other professionals should be a big part of your approach to growing your client list.