What are your habits when it comes to asking for referrals? Have you fully committed to proactively asking for referrals on a regular basis? Or are you, like most financial professionals, dabbling in referrals?
Sure, you know what to do with a referral if you trip over it, but do you have a process in place that has truly become a habit? If you feel guilty about not asking for referrals–because you just haven’t solidified a habit–then this article is for you. If you already ask for referrals, I still think you’ll find a lot of value in this piece.
Replace fear with confidence
There’s no point in beating around the bush. The reason most people don’t ask for referrals is fear. While many don’t like to admit that they are referral wimps–so they don’t use the fear word–that’s really what it boils down to.
People don’t ask for referrals because they don’t feel confident with the process. In the absence of confidence is fear. If this remotely describes you, then your main task is to replace your fear with confidence. This is the first and most important step in making asking for referrals habit-forming.
Build your referral confidence
So, how do you build your referral confidence? Here are some simple steps to take. Be aware that your referral fear, or self-doubt, will fight you on this all along the way, making you procrastinate and find reasons why you don’t have to do it. But, ultimately, based on what I’ve learned in my 15 years of teaching financial professionals how to master the referral process, this is what it takes.
Create your referral script
You need a track to run on. When you wing it, you lack confidence and you’re much less effective. It’s important–and tell your manager this if he or she is trying to force a script down your throat–that your script must be genuine for you. If it’s not in your own words, then you’ll never fully master it and be able to deliver it with sincerity.
Own your script
Practice, practice, practice. Practice delivering the script with your colleague. Practice with your manager. Practice on clients who love you. Get so good at this that you start to dream about it. Learn to deliver it in a natural, sincere manner. Talk about confidence!
When you expect to ask a client for referrals, come prepared with people whom you think you can help and/or categories of people for whom you typically do good work. I recommend you have a sheet of paper that lists all the life situations and money-in-motion events that can trigger someone needing your products/services. Carry this with you to every appointment.