Get Referrals without Asking
Some years ago, I had the great fortune of generating more than $500,000 with a single sale. It took me about seven months to close the deal, after other financial advisors had been trying to win this particular client over for more than 10 years. I believe the reason I got the business was a simple one: The client was referred to me.
While many financial advisors say they understand the value of referrals, most aren’t doing enough to get the consistent supply of quality leads from their clients, prospects, and centers of influence that they should be getting.
So I decided to pick the brain of one of the best referral experts in the world, Bill Cates, CSP™, of Referral Coach International. Bill’s books, Get More Referrals Now! and Don’t Keep Me a Secret!, have established him as the financial services industry’s foremost expert on building a thriving referral-based business. As a presenter at this year’s Financial Advisor’s Summit, he offers some great insights on this important topic. Here are just a few of the financial advisor marketing strategies he shares to help you get referrals without asking:
Financial Advisor Marketing Strategy #1: Become More Referable
If you want to get referrals without asking for them, you have to become more referable. Bill boils this down to three main points, two of which are: 1) Have a great process that delivers tremendous value from the very start of the new relationship; 2) Have a client-service promise that insures you continue to provide value throughout the lifetime of the relationship.
Financial Advisor Marketing Strategy #2: Be More Proactive
Getting referrals without asking for them doesn’t mean you aren’t proactive in your quest for referrals. It simply means you don’t ask directly for referrals. Many financial advisors just can’t get past their fear or mistaken assumptions with regard to asking for referrals. So, just short of asking for referrals is “Promoting Referrals.” One of the best ways Bill teaches to promote referrals with clients is the line, “Don’t Keep Me a Secret.” Whenever a client expresses recognition of your value, you can say, “I’m glad you see the value of the work that I do. Please don’t keep me a secret.” Bill teaches many other easy, low-key ways to promote referrals but this is my favorite.
Financial Advisor Marketing Strategy #3: Do it Like a Master
Bill shared that “Amateurs practice to get it right, masters practice until they can’t get it wrong.” This insight has already had a dramatic impact in all aspects of my life, personally and professionally. The point is simple: How you show up for things makes a big difference in your results. Abraham Lincoln said it this way: “Whatever you are, be a good one.” If you start showing up as a master advisor instead of settling for anything less, you’ll create a business that’s worthy of your skills.
This summer, while traveling in Spain, we watched Mexico play South Africa in the World Cup on TV. It was immediately clear to me that the South African goalkeeper was a master. While the Mexican team was favored and performed better overall, the game ended in a draw because of the South African goalkeeper’s mastery of the game. His commitment to becoming a master made the difference for his team and can for yours too, if you commit and take action to becoming a master. First, learn from a current master – Bill Cates. Then you’ll be on your way to mastering your financial advisory business while getting more referrals- guaranteed!