Generating new business can be a major problem for Financial Advisers; some are doing a terrific job while many are not. I still witness advisers asking for referrals which is wrong. In this post, I’ll show you a more natural, more efficient way to build your business in today’s modern world.
Asking for referrals not working for you either? The big problem is that financial advisers are still using old fashioned techniques; techniques that don’t work and that they find annoying!
The old fashioned way was just to ask, “Who do you know that I might be able to help?” and this typically comes at the very first consultation. It’s wrong on so many levels and really doesn’t work. As I often say, it’s not your client’s job to get you clients and grow your business, it’s yours. It really is unfair asking your client for referrals. It takes them by surprise, their unprepared and can even feel as though they have been put on the spot. I know from speaking to clients of financial advisers, that some will just naturally pass your details on because they have been so impressed with the experience – and they were never asked by their financial adviser to do that, they just did it.
Most clients don’t like being put on the spot because:
We don’t give them time to get comfortable with giving referrals
They have no idea who would make a good prospect
They don’t have the time to think
Some Financial Advisers think that all their asking for is a name and a number of a friend. What their client is thinking is that they are endorsing you, giving their friends no notice or time and that they are putting their own name and reputation on the line.
It’s not your client’s job to find you clients; it’s yours!
Asking for referrals is also unfair to you too. Most of the time it produces clients that don’t fit into your niche and area of specialisation, you normally only get a name and a number, and at the end of the day, financial advisers stop asking because they feel uncomfortable, and so does the client!
You don’t want referrals because it’s just a name and a number. Instead, you want introductions, subtle difference – massive implications.
Best practice is to create a process for your business. You need a process that:
- Gives your client a chance to get comfortable with discussing your business with others.
- Allows the client the opportunity to introduce someone to you.
- Gives the client the space to see if you have earnt the right to maybe meeting a work colleague of theirs or similar.
- Is easy, natural and straightforward to execute.
Tips to help you build a referral [introduction] based business
1. Positioning, Positioning, Positioning! Clients actually like to do business with successful financial advisers. Firms that are growing and evolving rather than becoming stale and old fashioned. There is nothing wrong with explaining about the firm and its growth strategy in a client meeting. It demonstrates that you are switched on and here for the long haul, and I can tell you from the client surveys I personally conduct, that is attractive to your clients! Make it exclusive though [Cialdini, R, B, PH.D.]. Plant the seed by explaining that you can’t work with everyone; there are only certain clients that you can help and that sometimes, not always, you may invite them to introduce someone they know to the business. Nothing else is said. You’ve planted a few seeds there!
2. Judge me! Have you noticed we all have different expectations? Do you know what every single client expects from you and your service? If not, how can you deliver on it and earn the right to have your name shared with others? Agree on expectations up front.
3. Yes Yes Yes! Do the work for them. When you know you have met or exceeded their expectations; you have created the opportunity to go to them with a particular name of someone or association and ask their advice about the best way to be introduced to that person. Check out who they are connected with on LinkedIn or what association they are part of and find one or a few names of individuals you would like to be introduced to. This approach is gold for sourcing strategic alliances too. An old tactic modernised for today’s digital world!
4. Get introduced not referred! Get a direct introduction to the person, not just a name and phone number. There are lots of ways to achieve this. Lunch, coffee, the client meets with you and them and so forth.
Get introduced not referred; you’ll build a better business!
I trust you enjoyed this post and please, feel free to share it with others; there are thousands of financial advisers who will also benefit from knowing these marketing tips. Thanks!