I received a lot of feedback on my article Referrals for Financial Advisors posted on April 5th. Many people told me they were unsure how to ask for referrals from existing clients without looking too pushy.
I thought it might be of use to share a few example and best practices regarding prospect generation and referrals.
First of all, always remember that before starting to ask for a referral you should make sure you have an established relationship with your client based on trust and mutual appreciation.
One way I have seen financial professionals generate new business was by planting the seed of referral at the early stage of the discovery process with their new clients.
I have heard them say something in the like of:
Mike, I just wanted to point that my business is based on referral and later in our relationship I might ask for your help.
Once they have planted the seed, they always make sure to leave it with their client and concentrate on building that strong relationship I was talking about.
A few months down the line, they usually re-initiate the talks by saying:
Mike, you remember that a few months ago I mentioned that my business was based on word of mouth. Well today you can send a referral through my website. Let me show you how it works...
If they have a lead generation form on their website, they generally sit down in front of a computer with their client and demonstrate their referral form. (At advisor websites, all our clients can use the 'tell-a-friend' form which comes bundled with your website). It is recommended that you first fill out the form with your own details, submit it and ask your client if it makes sense. Then, and that's the important part, ask your client:
Do you know of anybody you could send my way right know?
This will ensure that your client understand the process and dramatically increase your chances to get that previous referral!
I have heard from advisors that consistently receive between 5 and 10 referrals every month. Think about it, that's 60 to 120 new prospects in one year. If you have a conversion rate of 50-60%, then you may be looking at 30 to 60 new clients per year!!
If you have encountered similar success with you referral campaign or want to share ideas, feel free to leave a comment below.