While all agents know how important referrals are to their production, the most successful agents have developed the art of getting referrals from clients into what seems like an effortless process.
Joseph St. Pedro, president of St. Pedro and Associates, Royersford, Pa., tells his clients right up front how important referrals are to his practice. St. Pedro, an eight-time Court of the Table and a six-time Top of the Table qualifier, has built his business on referrals from the clients with whom he has created relationships.
“At the very first meeting I tell prospects that my work is going to depend a lot on their goodwill, meaning that they are ambassadors of my business,” he says.
St. Pedro explains to new clients that if hes spending time going out looking for more new clients, hes spending less times providing service to them. Therefore, he says that it is always in his clients best interest to send him referrals–giving him more time to manage their accounts.
St. Pedro incorporates this request for referrals right into his presentation. “It keeps me focused on the presentation, and it keeps the client focused, understanding that referrals are part of the process,” he says.
As soon as a prospect writes him a check, St. Pedro moves directly into the referral presentation. “As soon as they write the check, thats the beginning,” he says.
But just asking for referrals isnt enough, he says. St. Pedro continuously markets himself to his client base to maintain his visibility.
“We plant the seed up front in our first meeting, and then we continue to stay in front of them. The referrals just come naturally,” he says.
Kyle Herrman follows a similar model. Herrman, who is director of branch development for Mainstreet Securities, Hays, Kan., stays in front of clients on a regular basis by holding periodic informational sessions with them.
“Its just an informal meeting with 8 to 10 clients to let them know whats going on in the market,” he says. “We tell clients to invite a friend to come and well serve coffee and doughnuts.”
Herrman explains that by holding these informational sessions, hes letting clients know hes on top of whats happening in the market, and hes showing that hes making an effort to keep them informed.
“At the same time, youre showing their friends that you provide ongoing service to existing clients,” he says.