Getting referrals is easier said than done; financial advisors hustle hard in this aspect.
Advisors who are introverted or those that easily get intimidated may find it difficult to generate referrals.
Well, you cannot move forward if you don’t take the first step.
The greatest opportunity is the one you can do today.
Leverage Your Existing Professional Network
Before wandering to other places, make sure you first exhaust all efforts in your existing professional network.
Identify prospects that you may know but find it hard to reach directly. You can get a hold of them through your first or second-level contacts.
Your family and existing friends can draw a huge number of people, so take advantage of it.
When you meet up with your existing clients, you can encourage them to support you. For example, you can take a picture with your clients and share it on your social media page, thanking that person for patronizing your product.
The recent pandemic may have restricted physical meetups but it has led to new opportunities for seamless connections such as the use of social media and virtual meetings.
You can request people to introduce you to their friends so you can present your material to them. They’re more likely to attend since their close acquaintance referred them.
When your family or friends promote your brand to other people, it’s an appreciative gesture to give them something in return. It works because everybody loves free items.
There is an unlimited number of ways to provide incentives to successful referrals. Just make sure that your incentive programs are following the regulations imposed by the firm.
Your referral incentives can be in the form of a physical gift such as a cash reward, gift certificate, store discount coupons, tasty food, or wine.
It could also be in the form of service like massage, spa, or treating them to any place that makes them happy.
Ask Your Long-Term Clients
Clients showing long-term unwavering support for your products are perfect sources to ask for a referral.
They stayed long because they believe in you and find your service valuable. If they truly understand your service, they will know who needs it as much as they do.
You must have a good working relationship with your clients in financial services, and not leave them be after closing a sale.
Checking on them regularly is essential to make them feel nurtured and valued.
Perfect Your Timing
Timing is essential in referral marketing for it to be effective. Asking the question prematurely will let them feel used.
Every transaction a financial advisor makes with your prospect or client must be relational.
So, what is the perfect time to ask for referrals? Well, it depends on the scenario but the key requisite is this: your client should be satisfied with your products and services.
For example, you can solicit a referral only after your client has posted a positive review.
Logically, you cannot ask people to promote products they don’t want for themselves.
Asking them to do it will only ruin your reputation. However, when your clients are happy, you can ask them anything.
A good portion of customer service means going the extra mile. The extra help you extend becomes emotional bank deposits for your clients.
From the business perspective, we are making a transaction, but in the eyes of the customer, it’s personal.
Clients recognize your willingness to do something even if not required from you.
Good financial advisors must not have a reputation of being mere money-seekers but advocates of good financial health and security.
You may be diligent in prospecting, making follow-ups, or collections, but if this is all the customer can see, then you won’t progress with your client relationship.
Think also of what you can offer to your clients like free financial planning seminars and regular financial advice.
You can also regularly provide them with newsletters that contain relevant topics like money ideas, educational resources, market news, and others.
According to Forbes, most successful financial advisors leverage technology.
There are now several technologies available at your disposal, depending on what stage of your client lifecycle. It innovates the way you target your market and the way you communicate with them.
Indeed, we are forgetful people but don’t worry, there’s automation so the computer doesn’t forget.
A classic example is Facebook’s automatic birthday reminders. By properly configuring technology, we can set it up such that we are automatically reminded of special events (birthdays, weddings, etc.) to identified persons.
Handling a few clients is easily manageable but when they grow to a large number, you need to have software like CRM (customer relationship management) and email automation.
Make the Ask
After leveraging your professional network and technology, and executing your sales pitch, it’s time for the big question.
You might have planted the seeds, but deliberately asking the question is another thing.
At the end of a productive meeting, wrap it up by telling your clients that you need referrals. It’s not simply asking them names. Do not give the impression that you are milking them.
As a financial advisor, your guiding goal is to help people manage financial risk and build wealth over time.
Holding on to this principle, tell your clients that you want to help others through their referrals.