ll too often, clients and connections greet the referral question with a blank stare. They’re caught off guard because they don’t have a specific point of reference.
They would like to help, but they don’t know where to begin.
Some advisors allow their referral strategies to become cumbersome and clunky.
Is that you? If so, practice drawing with confidence.
Be prepared to shoot straight and don’t over-complicate referral requests. From my experience working with hundreds of advisors, we sometimes forget the value of the work we do for our clients.
When that mindset creeps in, we apologetically stumble through the referral conversation. Or worse, we don’t have one at all. That’s the equivalent of failing to clear the holster in a gun fight.
Four questions to hit the mark on referrals:
1. Do you regularly promote referrals?
Do your clients and your connections REALLY know that you’re open for new business? Your best referral sources may be unaware of your plans for professionally growing your practice.
Sure, they might offer your name to a friend who is looking for an advisor, but they aren’t on the lookout for opportunities to proactively make introductions. They don’t see the “Open for Business” sign hanging on your door.
2. Do your referrers really understand what you do?
Most of the folks you know have a simplified understanding of your business. They don’t see the full picture of what you do on a daily basis. Even your best clients may be biased by a single element of the most recent work you’ve done on their behalf. You’ll receive the highest quality referrals when your referral sources clearly understand what you do and how you do it.
3. Do you research potential referrals?
A great way to eliminate blank stares when you’re seeking referrals is to plant seeds in your referrers’ minds. Before you meet with your clients and connections, identify a few folks they may know. This way you’re giving them a frame of reference for offering you their best referral advice. This takes a little advance homework, but it is well worth the time.
4. Are referrals a habit?
Do you build referral-gathering opportunities into your daily routines? Any meaningful business growth activity that is not practiced consistently can go stale. This is particularly true of referrals. When you build referral-gathering into your daily routines your chance of success grows immeasurably.Need more referral strategies?
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