Most advisers have at least one or two referral partners; people who refer the odd client here and there. However, I know that what these advisers want are more robust relationships with these referrers resulting in more potential clients. Is that the same for you or perhaps one of your advisers?
Below are five proven steps you and your advisers can take to improve your referral relationships. You might like to use these in your regular team meetings to help focus on building better relationships.
1.Build stronger relationships
You need to build even stronger relationships with your referral partners.
If your referrers aren’t sending you potential clients, it’s probably not because they don’t think you are capable, but because they don’t hear from you, so they forget about you which also lends itself to them not trusting you.
Stronger relationships lead to better trust between you and referrers.
If they don’t know you, they won’t trust you. I would encourage you to meet regularly so that you can get to know each other on a deeper level so that they trust you. If they don’t get to know, like and trust you enough, why would they remember you?
Too many financial advisers miss this crucial step because they don’t have the time or think the referer won’t want to meet regularly – incorrect.
2. Listen to them and learn about their business
100% it is not about you! Sometimes you can think this is an obvious point, but the amount of times I’ve personally witnessed this is scary.
You should know what the pain points are for your referral partners both with their clients, their industry, their business and themselves. Showing emotional intelligence can only lead to deeper relationships. Meeting with them and asking how a particular pain point is travelling is a simple thing to remember and of course, thinking of innovative ways to help should always be top of mind. You might not be able to help them but think about others that you know that might be able to solve one of their problems.
3.Separate yourself from the rest
If you believe that a particular referral partnership is worth the energy and time stop focusing on the number of clients they’ve sent your way. Instead, think about ways in which you can help them and add value. It could be as simple as offering to add one of their articles to your newsletter or website. Or co-hosting an event – yes, they still work!
4.Build a reputation and deliver
One thing that works is agreeing to a process; how will the referral partners introduce you to new clients, what will the handover look like [all those essential steps] and then, of course, make 100% sure you can and do reach that agreement. Another thing that also works is creating some sort of visual measurement system so that the referral partner can see where the client is at each step of the way when working with you. You might have a system for that already and if you don’t create something simple that you both agree on and then you can report against it.
Business networking is the lifeblood of most businesses, and some do a better job than others. Make sure you think about who else your referral partners could benefit from being introduced to. Who else do you know that could add value to them from a business sense.
If you or any of your financial advisers could benefit from some in-house training about this topic, please contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can have a confidential chat.
Ask any top performing financial advice business where their ideal clients come from and they will say referrals. Make sure you have the right referral partners too.