The Number One Way Financial Advisors Can Compete With Institutions

Freedom has a price and for financial advisors that are building their own business that price is often less resources (time, money, employees) than when you are working with a national/regional firm.  When you head down the independent path, or, more autonomous if you are still with a bigger firm, you make some sacrifices for your ability to work the way you want to without management and oversight.

This reality is why referrals are the number one way you ensure that you can compete effectively with the 'big Boyz."  

The large institutional firms cannot manage interpersonal relationships at scale...but, you can.

Last week we talked about how important giving referrals was because of the engaged audience: your clients and referral sources want to engage with you when you are giving to them.  Now let's talk about the other part of the giving process:  time.

When it comes to referrals, the good ones we both know you really want, time is the currency of the realm.  What does it take, in addition to desire and training, for people to refer you?  Time is the answer.

If you are a #referralpredator, you don't even notice how much you are asking of others when you are asking for referrals.  They are exchanging their time for your money.

The answer is to give them the time (and desire) to refer you better by referring them on purpose.  This isn't a mass marketing tactic.  In fact, like many things less is more.  Here are some basic rules:

  • You need to be giving widely through technology and consistently scheduled activity.  More to come later on this.  Hint:  client reviews are the best times to give and one of the worst times to try and get.
  • Focusing your efforts on clients and referral sources that have already referred you and that work in an industry that you can easily and consistently refer people is essential.  There are two basic categories:  residential and commercial.  Separate your targets for giving referrals into those two categories and this will be easier.
  • If you don't have enough people that are currently referring you the next step is to pick the ones that you feel like you have a relationship that is good enough to refer and then turn it on by giving on purpose.
  • You only have so much time is critical to invest it just as wisely as your clients retirement funds.  Pick quality relationships, assess risk, if necessary rebalance quarterly (sorry, I couldn't resist) other words, manage your referral giving plan like you manage client portfolios...tracking results and reacting to changes in the relationships (market).

Remember, the number one reason you aren't getting more referrals (enough referrals) is because your clients have been trained to give you deals instead of introductions.

In other words, your best referral sources fail because they are trying to hard to get you clients instead of meetings.  Instead, after they become trained by you in how and why you are worth introducing to people they know even if you don't do business, you will have them focused on introducing you comfortably and powerfully to people you want to meet.  

Now you need to make sure that they can afford to refer you.

As always, I appreciate you reading and hope that something was of value to you.  If it was, please share this with others like you...folks that you want to help navigate the future in such a way that they can impact other people beneficially.  

Think critically.  Train to get stronger.  Practice compassion and empathy with others.  Rest and recover so that you can do all the above better tomorrow.

I have time, desire and capacity to help you and those that are most important to you.  Don't hesitate to connect with me and/or introduce me to other business people you believe could use my help whether or not they might be a prospect.

Related: How Financial Advisors Can Achieve the Values Based Mindset