“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Acquiring introductions from clients is best done in person and after getting positive client feedback. Include this as part of your client face-to-face planning and review meetings using an approach I call “aided recall”. It can also be of great value to meet in the client’s environment. Harvey Mackay is quoted as saying, “The most important reading you can do is on the walls of your client’s office or home.” For your very best clients, think about client home visits which can be convenient for spouses and older clients.
Best Practices For Acquiring Introductions
If you have effectively implemented the “Six Core Client Facing Process,” and are delivering the outcomes that client’s value, then you are in a solid position to seek introductions from clients. More importantly, your client must:
- Understand and positively perceive the value you provide.
- Have given you positive feedback.
- Know who to introduce you to
- Know the types of financial issues where you provide help.
Know how to introduce you, i.e., what to say, what sets you apart, your difference.
Seek Feedback From Current Clients
The best time to get introductions come after your client has experienced the value you deliver and the positive outcomes they achieved which can be part of your annual or semi-annual review meeting.
Every review meeting needs a formal written agenda and includes a set of feedback questions such as:
- What are we doing that you’d like to see us continue?
- What aren’t we doing that you’d like to see us do?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate our service to you?
Seek Introductions Using Aided Recall
Assuming you receive positive feedback, you can move into the introduction process using the principle of “aided recall.” “Aided recall” means prompting your clients by inducing an association of ideas (or people) to help them recall other individuals who are the same or like them. It narrows the question, so people’s names and faces easily come to mind.
For example, an employee of Exxon should more easily be able to identify others they know who are also employees of Exxon. Saying, “George, I enjoy working with you and am pleased you see so much value in our work together. Perhaps there are other Exxon Petroleum Engineers that could also benefit from the work we’ve done together.” After a pause, you can add, “Would you be willing to introduce me to them?”
Knowing your clients, who they work for, what they do, what their interest and hobbies are, who they are related to, to what organizations they belong, etc. will help you in seeking introductions as you can be more specific. I have had clients that built family trees of their clients to identify potential prospects!
Focus Introductions Around Life Changes That You Best Serve
One example of where you might focus can be regarding life changes that create “money in motion” opportunities. There are at least four basic money in motion categories:
- Work Life Transitions
- Financial Life Transitions
- Family Life Transitions
- Legacy Life Transitions
These are situations you can discuss with your clients. Some examples include:
- “You know George, there are roughly 10,000 people who turn 65 each day. If you have friends or colleagues that may be retiring within the next five years, I can help make sure they are financially ready.”
- “If any of your colleagues at ABC are contemplating retirement, I’d love to chat with them.”
- “If any of your friends have recently left their job, I’d love to chat with them.” (This is not only a COVID-19 issue. A typical U.S. worker now lasts 4.6 years on the job.)
Related: Right Actions Lead To Right Results