A client of mine in Sydney (an adviser) was looking at other ways to expand his referral source other than using the traditional accountants and lawyers. He’s had some great wins with his COI but acknowledges that if he wants his business to grow as quickly as he does he’s going to have to look at sourcing clients from potentially new avenues.
We all know that accountants and lawyers and even real estate agents can be an excellent source of referrals but having spoken to these sources myself, I know that the majority of them also refer to a panel of advisers, very few have exclusive arrangements. Advisers create friendly enough relationships with these professionals and each party will give and receive referrals but the majority of professionals also have relationships with more than one adviser. So, where can you look for more referral partners?
Here are 3 proven ways:
1. Non traditional COI – think about who else deals with your target market, what other businesses/professionals? chances are, there are others who are marketing and selling to your market too. Depending on who your market is, there are likely to be potential referral sources that you haven’t thought of before who don’t have a relationship with an adviser and possibly didn’t think about it themselves.
2. Joint venture marketing – think about ways to create joint marketing initiatives. perhaps you could distribute your newsletter or report or white paper through your COI mail list. Advisers have had success using schools, hairdressers, mortgage brokers and the traditional channels for example insurance companies etc but have a think of who you know that has a database and see if you can send your marketing information to them too – always offer to send their info to your database too.
3. Last but not least make sure that you continue to work at developing and growing your referral relationships. Too many adviser work hard to establish the relationship only to abandon it after 6 months – keep your top referral partners close and constantly look at ways to remind them about the value you add to their business. you’d be surprised how easy they can forget about you!