Not clickbait...I promise. The short answer is not all of us are going to be served by going 'all in' on #referralmarketing.
I will stand on a hill, plant my #referralsarethebest flag deep in the ground and fight to the death to defend my contention that #referrals are the best way to grow your business if you are a #financialadvisor...if you are the right type of advisor.
This is not a moral issue...it is a talent and temperament issue.
Earlier this week I had an amazing call with my greatest mentor, Art Radtke, and we got caught up. It had been years since we really talked, my fault as I struggled with being the parent of a severely disabled (but incredibly awesome) special needs child, and I felt compelled to share some of what we agreed upon about referrals with you.
Referrals are important to almost all business people...even more so for financial advisors and small business owners/salespeople. Where and how you get those referrals is not as clear. Let's be frank: some incredible business people aren't good at doing personal outreach (what really drives #referrals at the top of the funnel)...but, they deliver great products and service and, once they get a client, keep them and over time produce enough raving fans to grow consistently. Those people need a referral marketing plan for after they get clients...not before.
Enter the great equalizer for small biz: @digitalmarketing.
Yes, the #referralwhisperer, as I am described by my friend Larry Levine, is promoting digital...because some of you aren't good at prospecting in person, but, are amazing at taking care of customers and deserve to get more of them. Referrals will come later.
Good digital marketing will give you what you struggle the most for: appointments with qualified prospects...not leads, appointments. You know what to do from there. This is an extremely viable strategy for financial advisors and planners that believe in referrals, but, don't know how to force themselves to put themselves out there personally...and shouldn't be required to. You do good work and there is a way for you to not only make it...but, crush it through great digital marketing.
The challenge here is this: picking the right marketing agency is amazingly difficult (I will be writing a blog article about how to select the right marketing experts so that they don't destroy your budget and your referral marketing later this week).
What if you love referrals and love talking with clients and associates about getting, and most importantly, and giving referrals? Great news, you can go all in on #referralmarketing because it will work and reward you. You can't decide to do this intellectually...you need to be able to emotionally connect to doing business the referral way, or, you won't have the energy and reward from it.
The bad news: Hope is NOT a strategy.
To really go all in, you need a written plan and most of you will benefit tremendously from a guide to help you do it faster and with less resistance. I have a lot of free material out there on LinkedIn and my website that can help the 'do it yourselfers' among you get most of the way down the road to a resilient and profitable #referralbasedbusiness. For those of you that would like some help...just reach out and we will talk about it.
The first step is developing a better #referralmarketing plan. The magic of a written and complete referral marketing plan is that it is the right thing to do for financial advisors that want to grow and enjoy their business. After all, you do financial plans for your clients? Why don't you get the same help for your business. Start with your favorite client and practice giving.