Imagine your field of dreams overflowing with all of the referrals you could ever hope for! Closing your eyes and picturing a huge field full of perfect referrals to help you grow your firm doesn’t have to be a dream, you can make it reality.
The old way of getting a referral is more than just old. It’s now considered greedy, pushy and desperate. Asking for referrals puts your clients in an uncomfortable position. Building loyalty and trust with clients is paramount to ensure client retention. Making clients feel uncomfortable by asking for a referral could jeopardize your relationship, thus causing more harm than good.
I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm. ~Calvin Coolidge
Referrals are still the best and most profitable source for new client acquisition. Learning how to earn referrals is the key to a successful referral plan. It is easy to ask for a referral, anyone can do it. Elite advisors don’t ask, they earn. Implementing a referral program at your firm should be a goal for every advisor. Learning the correct way to implement and use your plan is vital to overall firm reputation, growth and profitability.
Putting your reputation on the line; why would anyone give you a referral?
When a client or strategic alliance partner provides a referral to your firm, their reputation is on the line. To earn a referral, the referee needs to feel confident that you are trustworthy, knowledgeable and will provide a positive experience to a new prospect. As an advisor, your primary focus must be on the client and the overall client service you provide. If you are “just in it for the money”, clients will eventually see through the bogus wall.
Steps to earn referrals;
Ironstone has compiled a list of the best practices you can use and apply to start earning referrals and stop asking for them.
- Become friends with your clients – Meet with clients socially at business networking events and other non-sales related events.
- Provide incredible client service – This will instill a “no-fear” mindset in your client. Clients will feel there is little risk in recommending your firm to a peer.
- Pay It Forward – You need to give to get! Avoid making the mistake of expecting something in return.
- Be available – Make it easy for clients and prospects to do business with anyone in your firm at all times.
- Be patient – Keep in mind that relationships take time to build, let them develop over time otherwise you come off as “needy”.
- Provide education – Use newsletters, client meetings, email, websites and social media to keep your clients and prospects informed of current issues.
Client referrals start with the quality and depth of your client relationships. You may choose to include asking for referrals in your overall strategy; however, once you have incorporated earning referrals in your strategic referral plan, provide first-class service and a memorable experience; referrals will fill your field of dreams.
We are curious!! How do you earn referrals? Do you ask or earn?
Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!
- Strategic Planning
- Business Development
- Operational Effectiveness
- The Human Element
Coming up next, learn about operational effectiveness and your service matrix!