Asking for referrals is a key part of growing your business and clientele. Even if you know they are important for your business, however, you may feel sheepish about asking your clients for referrals.
This feeling occurs for a variety of reasons. If you are a less experienced advisor, for instance, you may still have some anxieties about rejection, coming off pushy, or not having enough confidence in your approach. Or maybe you haven’t built asking for referrals into your process, and you fail to look for those key opportunities when talking to current clients.
Whatever it is, failing to ask clients for referrals means missing out on important connections and business growth. You should be unapologetically asking for referrals and displaying confidence in what you have to offer.
Why Is It Important to Ask for Referrals? Referrals are the best, and in most cases, the easiest approach to finding prospects and building your business. Prospecting and finding new clients is a challenging part of your business, and happy and confident clients are a great source of introductions and potential clients. If they are happy with your work, then they should be your strongest advocates.
Additionally, if you tend to advise clients with specific concerns or from a specific background, then they will be ideal for knowing other people that will also benefit from your services in that niche. So how can you be better at asking for client referrals?
Formalize Your Procedures:
If you fail to ask consistently for referrals, one way to make sure that you do it is to bake it into your processes. You can craft an elevator speech so that you have something prepared ahead of time. You can refine this with continued experience.
Similar to crafting and employing your marketing and social media strategies, you should have a referral system formally incorporated into your business. Unlike your larger marketing strategy, asking for referrals is an easy part of your process. For instance, you might make asking for referrals a formal step within the quarterly or annual reviews with your clients.
Once you have a place for referrals within your process, you can work on a statement and then practice it. Let your client know why you are asking for referrals, express appreciation for their help, and keep them updated with your progress. There is a chance that your clients will not have any referrals to give you, but there is always the chance that they will.
Adapt Your Mindset:
With the wrong mindset, asking for referrals can feel invasive and uncomfortable. And at a critical moment, you may come off as apologetic and unconfident. This is a problem because it portrays a lack of confidence in what you are proposing, or that your services are not providing genuine value in the lives of your clients. It may also create an awkward situation for your clients.
Remember that you are providing value and that asking your clients for referrals is a professional courtesy. Remember that you are their financial advisor and possess the unique skills and knowledge that they need. You work to understand your client’s goals and life ambitions, create customized solutions, and ensure that they are reaching their financial goals. Most importantly, you work to build long-term, useful relationships with your clients and help them achieve lifelong financial security. As such, there’s no need to be apologetic or worried about asking clients for referrals.
If you do your best to provide your clients with exceptional services, then you are certainly referrable. There is the chance that your clients will politely say no, or that they prefer to not give any referrals, but they won’t take offense to your asking. You may also open a door for a later referral just by asking. Regardless, your clients will feel flattered that you want to meet more clients like them.
Be proactive in following up with the client, and be responsive to their communications. Remember to follow up with your original client to let them know how much you appreciate their referral (with a thank you note, small gift, etc.)
Successful financial advisors are skilled at self-promoting, and asking for referrals is vital to meeting new people and building your business. Making referrals a formal part of your process with current clients, and having a positive and confident mindset about it will go a long way in making sure that you don’t miss out on great opportunities and potential clients.
Contact me today to learn how to effectively ask for referrals. I’m a top coach for financial advisors and utilize the power of consulting and mentoring to help financial and wealth managers build the life they want.