Should I Go All in on Referrals?

Should I go all in on referrals? 

Let's start with answering the question:  Whether or not, like in a big no limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker, you should go ‘all in’ on referrals if you are a #financialadvisor?

Note:  the question is not if you ‘can’ do it (you absolutely can get all your business, or at least the vast majority, from referrals to ideal clients)…the question is actually ‘should’ you do it.  

Here are some questions to answer that will tell you, without a doubt, if you should push those chips into the middle of the table:

  • You already have enough business occurring organically (without pushing) to cover your needs on an annual basis or pretty close.
  • You don’t want to have a high percentage of meetings that aren’t qualified and/or are with ideal client prospects.
  • You have a more complex personal life now than you did when you first started.  In other words, as one of my long time clients puts it:  “I want to be able to be at all the practices and games”
  • You hate having to play the game with traditional marketing of sending a lot of automated direct messaging and emails that just irritate and piss off most of the people that get them and every once and a while you land a decent appointment (remember, almost anything in prospecting done enough will work some of the time…the question is did you really get successful to just keep grinding like that?)

There are more questions, but for almost all successful advisors and many specialty service professionals the answer is yes.  You should go all in on referrals, but you need to do so with a plan so that you can predict success…just like in any type of good marketing.  The problem:  almost no one teaches and supports people like you in making that happen.

So many talk about how great referrals are and then just go back to the traditional, inhumane marketing automation and/or hope strategies based on ‘awareness’ and website hits…good luck with that.  What if there was a system for predicting referrals and being able to understand exactly how you were going to get them, where they would come from and to a great extent when you could plan on getting them?

Game changer, but it only happens when you commit to doing the work.

Where to begin?

  • How many referrals did you get last year and this year to date?
  • Where did they come from?
  • What percentage of your client base is what you would call ideal?
  • What budget do you have for referral marketing vs. your total marketing spend?
  • What is the average value of a referral meeting?  (Avg. value of a client X avg. number of years a client is retained X percentage of referrals that end up within 1 year as clients = value of the referral meeting alone)
  • How many referrals (based on the above formula) to ideal clients would be necessary for you and/or your advisor team to meet and exceed your year upon year business growth goals?

Those questions will allow you to get a better picture of the opportunity before you.  If you would like some help transitioning to that kind of business and the freedom and fun it provides feel free to comment below or message me for a conversation.

No realistic sales/growth strategy is a ‘get rich quick scheme’ and while I would argue strongly and with mathematics that referrals are just as fast to results as any traditional or marketing tech form of sales...they take time, consistent effort, measurement and reflection and learning.

I get what it's like to be a #businessowner and a #financialadvisor at the same time. The process can be incredibly lucrative, and often quite overwhelming. You don’t have to make great money and be miserable inside. The first step is to imagine something different and then find a path to that vision that you believe will work.

Related: Do Successful Financial Advisors Actually NEED Social Media?