Last week’s newsletter was a big picture, 40k view of how to view referral giving as the foundation of your very own predictable #referral system. Remember: we don’t ever want to be the dreaded ‘referral predator’...like almost everyone here on #socialmedia.
Instead, for those of you #financialplanners and #financialadvisors that are already successful, we are looking to grow our business AND have fun AND know that we are doing so in a way that truly contributes to our clients and our communities.
This week we are going to take a look at being a concierge in your financial services business.
Concierge services are about enhancing client experience, traditionally, at high end/luxury hotels. I have very fond memories of them from the Ritz Carlton, for example. Basically, they are in charge of helping you get what you want. The best concierges are superlative networkers and masters of efficiency. They know everyone and everywhere you might need to meet/visit.
How does this look for your business? Whether you are a solo advisor or a member of an advisor team here is how I would encourage you to approach this strategically.
The challenge: you can only go ‘deep’ with a certain amount of people so time has to be used intentionally and rationally.
Remember when I was talking about building a ‘reactive’ referral giving strategy last week? The concierge plan is the core of how we give more and with less stress.
- Be a concierge. Commit to continually building and maintaining as wide and diverse a #network as possible for you and your business. Organize this, at a minimum, by residential and commercial categories. Communicate to your clients that you are always there to help and that you are continually looking to improve and grow your network.
- Ask WHO everyone loves the most when it comes to products and services. Of course you need multiple attorneys and CPAs, but don't stop there. If you want to make referrals effortless you need to (over time) build a network that includes multiple spa options, house and business cleaning services, custom sheet metal and so much more. This is your ‘anti referral predator’ conversation. Always take 30 seconds to see who your clients love the most.
- Be transparent. One of the big mistakes I see made all the time (even by my clients) is trying to only refer to people they deeply know. This is foolish. Instead, be transparent. If you have three CPAs that you have been told are great by your clients, but only know one personally, you just need to tell the truth. Let them know that all three are recommended by clients and you know this one personally and you are off the hook. Referral’s fall apart when we try to ‘close the sale’ for our clients before the introduction.
- You need multiple options. Your favorite CPA/attorney might be on vacation and the need might be urgent. People get disabled and die suddenly all the time. The difference between an amateur and professional when it comes to networking and giving is the pro always is recruiting. You want to have as deep a bench as possible so that you always have someone (ideally) to refer to.
- Gather data. Every time you refer a client to another professional you have an opportunity to deepen relationships and test/verify service levels. Always follow up with your client AND the person/company you referred your client to. This has several benefits (1) you can make sure that your client is taken care of (2) you can prepare the referred professional to take better care of your client and (3) you can see if the experience you and your client had with the given referral merits further relationship development.
I hope this is of value. Frankly, this is a very broad overview of how to make referral giving systematic, valuable and fun. Giving does need to be strategic so that you don’t get overcommitted and overexposed. Remember, this should be the best way to grow when you are successful because it is the most fun!