The best way to gather new clients is via referral, especially since many wealthier investors find their financial advisors this way. If you are failing to acquire referrals, you need to address this issue as a matter of importance. Lack of success invariably boils down to a number of reasons – in particular an inability to get along with people.Here are 5 reasons that could explain why clients aren’t lining up to refer you.
#1. You lack sufficient charisma
If your clients are to introduce you to their friends and colleagues, they need to like you and think you are exactly the kind of person they want their friends to meet.Ask yourself if you are the type of person you’d like to introduce to your friends. Are you well-dressed and confident? Are you positive and enthusiastic? Are you a joy to be around? If not it’s time for a change. You don’t need to possess innate charisma
, it can be developed so long as you devote time to perfecting your soft skills.
#2. You provide below par service
People won’t refer Advisors they receive a mediocre service from. In fact, far from recommending you, your underwhelming service could see you fired as they move elsewhere.If you don’t put your focus on cementing your relationship with clients and go that extra mile to make them feel special, then you won’t win referrals.Returning calls and emails promptly and being available when clients need you are basic expectations. If you don’t fulfill these service requirements, you won’t instill confidence in your clients.The same thing applies if you overpromise
and underdeliver. By failing to set clear expectations, communication-wise, you won’t know what’s acceptable to your client – whether that’s a face-to-face review meeting four times a year or a monthly call. Either way you’re failing to perform your job adequately in the eyes of your clients and they won’t – under any circumstances – refer you.
#3. You work with clients outside your niche
You can’t be all things to everyone, so if you decide to work with an unfamiliar demographic, you’ll find it hard to match their goals and needs. And if you fail to deliver a service that’s tailored specifically to their requirements, they won’t be inclined to recommend you to others in their circle.
#4. You’re not asking for referrals
Despite knowing how important referrals are, many advisors struggle to tap into their network to ask for them. This could be due to a sense of insecurity about the value they’re bringing to their clients’ lives. Or a feeling that they’re somehow begging for work. In fact, asking for referrals
doesn’t have to be uncomfortable for you or your client if you make it known asking for referrals is simply part of your business model.Stop focusing on your needs and requirements. Instead stress how much good you could do for other people.You have a high value in terms of offering sound advice to help people avoid mistakes and build a secure financial future. If your clients’ friends or family are also in your ideal niche (for example, retirees), it makes perfect sense for you to provide them with the same expert advice.Let them know your referred clients will get a VIP service from you and that you won’t hound them with calls or endless emails. Remove the risk and you’ll be one step closer to getting new business via referral.
#5. You’re asking the wrong clients for referrals
Only ask clients you have a strong relationship with. It takes time to earn a referral because you need to first establish your trustworthiness. If people don’t know you, they won’t refer you – it will make them uncomfortable because they will worry that you’ll embarrass them in front of their friends. Patience is the only option. Wait, put in the hard work and provide superior service. Exceed clients’ expectations and over time they’ll be happy to refer you.Also, if you aren’t regularly asking clients for feedback
, you won’t know how you’re doing and how likely it is that you’ll get a referral. If the feedback’s ‘so-so’, it’s your opportunity to make some positive changes so that you’ll get referred in future.Gathering referrals should be an integral element of your business model. If you are failing on this score, you need to go back to the drawing board to discover what’s going wrong. The problems are entirely fixable. If you perfect your soft skills and put in the hard work, you will eventually earn those referrals.Related: Tell Prospects What You Do Instead of What You Are