I want to let you in on a little secret. years ago my mentor taught me the referral myth. Does someone with $1,000,000 introduce you to someone with $5 million dollars? Top advisors don't target the same clients over and over again. everyone is going to teach you how to get referrals which is important as a financial advisor. But referrals don't get you to the next level.
If you asked your clients and centers of influence for referrals, what would they say? but if you ask your clients and such was the influence for introductions I know they are comfortable introducing you to other people. Stop asking for referrals ask for introductions
The next level
How do you meet someone with $5 million to invest? Here is a story of how to get introductions. One day my friend Randy and I went to an event put on by a friend of mine. The event was at a private airplane hangar and was about promoting aviation and selling private aviation. At the event, I asked my friend if he could introduce me to a few people because I was new to the community. Besides private jets, there was also a private car collection. Being a car guy I was interested in whom owned certain vehicles. My friend introduced me to a gentleman who happened to own part of this private car collection. I was introduced to a friend who was in the financial industry and whom he played hockey with. We both excitedly talked about cars and after a while, I discovered that he recently sold his technology business for a substantial amount. Now if i was a financial advisor, this would be a great introduction to a potential person I may want to work with. This was a great introduction, not a referral.
Referral or introduction
When you get a referral it's fantastic. The person is on board with meeting you, and you come highly recommended. If you have a process to get referrals congratulations. You are getting referrals by doing great work. But the challenge for elite financial advisors is it doesn't move them to the next level. In the example above a referral to this person would be great. But I find that introductions are a lot easier to put into a process and structure them through events and meetings with clients and centers of influence. When I was introduced to the person at the event, it is now up to me to use my people skills and networking skills to turn the conversation into a longer conversation. Then it is also up to me to bridge the conversation to another conversation or to another meeting and potentially acquire an ideal high-net-worth family client.
How do you get introductions?
Are you comfortable going to events with someone you know and asking for introductions? I was working with a financial advisor who knew a prominent political person in their community. We worked on how you ask for introductions at events. It can be as simple as” Hey I don't know anyone here, would you mind introducing me to people you know”? Would it be OK to ask you to introduce me as your financial advisor?’ Now imagine you getting introduced by this prominent person as their financial advisor. Hello Bob I want you to meet my friend Grant who is also my financial advisor". There is no awkward elevator pitch or discussion about who are you and what you do. Introductions at events will help you find and meet next-level clients.
What events are on your calendar this year?
I will make it easy for you. Instead of planning your own events why don't you attend events that your clients and centers of influence are attending? Then at the event, you can ask for introductions. In meetings with your top clients, I recommend using agendas. Consider adding the word events to the agenda when you meet with top clients. The reason is, we know that wealthy people spend over 20% of their time engaged in activities events charities, and fundraising. Your job is to know this information about your top 50 clients. Imagine having a list of 25 to 50 potential events to attend with your top clients this year. Do you think you will find and meet more potential people to work with? Do you think you will get introductions?
Are you great at networking? The first step is collecting the data by asking the question to your top client" What events or activities do you like to do in your spare time? Tell me about them. The reason you're asking is part of your budget is aligned with your client's best interests. This is how I got to sponsor golf tournaments and meet different people through golf as a financial advisor. This is how I got to meet people through lawn bowling and sponsor events and meet more people like my past clients. This is how I got on board's charities and fundraising activities. What events are on your client's calendar this year? Imagine what could happen in your practice if you went to one client event per month and got introductions. Instead of waiting for referrals, go to events, ask for introductions and meet more people like your best clients.
The next steps
First, add the word events to your ideal client's agenda. Second, ask questions and find out about your ideal client's events. Third, ask how you can participate or help out in any events charities, or fundraising. Hint, elite financial advisors invest 2-4% of revenue into growing their business. There is your events budget. Fourth, attend the event and ask for introductions. Fifth, meet people who you find interesting enough that you would like to have another conversation with. Remember you get paid very very well to go to interesting events, get introduced, meet people, and have great conversations with them. Is this not a great business? Add introductions and events to your marketing plans this year.
Related: Time Management vs. Capacity for Financial Advisors