There is nothing, I repeat nothing, more valuable when marketing to the 'top of the funnel' as a Financial Advisor than referrals. The top of the funnel is comprised, in general, of those prospective customers that barely know you exist and aren't in immediately in the buying process. They are 'ok' with their current advisor.
The challenge has always been, when it comes to having a predictable referral marketing system, how can we consistently ensure enough qualified prospects are being entered into the top of our funnel. Unfortunately, because of a lack of system based referral training in the marketplace, referrals have traditionally been regulated to the bottom of the funnel.
This is like trying to find a unicorn.
Teaching others to find you unicorns is exactly why so many #financialadvisors struggle to build their business and then scale that business consistently upwards through the best and most profitable way: referrals.
We have discussed before that the number one reason your best referral sources (customers and Centers of Influence) don't refer nearly as much as they easily could is because they are trying to refer you 'done deals' aka customers ready to buy (unicorns). This is a great example of a marketing strategy that only focuses on trying to find customers at the bottom of the funnel...when they are ready to buy. I don't know about your sales experience as advisors, but, I can tell you that I have almost never been referred to someone that is looking for a new advisor that hasn't already met with or planned on meeting with another advisor as well.
How about we eliminate the competition before the competition even knows the game has begun? Enter the Top of the Funnel Referral system! Here is a video about the concept.
Here is the absolute truth: The best referral sources want to help you and will help when you ask.
Instead of having them looking for unicorns...have them start introducing you to prospective clients that aren't currently in the market for your services. Most people are willing to meet with another advisor provided they know that the meeting isn't going to be focused on trying to close business. This is where a written and strategic referral giving system comes into play.
Your referral sources and the people they could refer you to at the top of the funnel need to know that you are worth meeting with even when there is no pressing need to do business. In other words, do you have anything to offer of true value in a conversation without pitching your product or services? If not, you might want to read "Selling From The Heart" by my friend Larry Levine and learn how to be more than an 'empty suit'.
How do you start to do this? You become known as a #giver. When clients know that you not only are the best financial advisor in town...but, you are also a person that always has something to offer anyone you meet (known as a giver)...they will start referring you more...if they know that you authentically want to help.
The conversations your referral sources have with prospects at the top of the funnel will go something like this:
"You need to meet with Joe because he is the most helpful person I know. He is worth meeting with because all he is going to do is learn more about you and then see if he knows a way to help you."
A great example of this was an attorney I learned about in Las Vegas that build his entire business around the slogan: "If you need a plumber give me a call." His reputation in town was that he was the most helpful person in town and also happened to be an attorney.
I admit that there is a lot more detail and structure behind implementing this concept, but, you CAN do it on your own. Focus on becoming the type of professional that everyone turns to when they need help and the rest will sort itself out. If you would like to have a chat about having me help with the process I am always available for a quick meeting or call.