The sale is coming to the close, and you’re nearing the finish line. Your client sits across the table from you with a blank stare. You can see the cogs inside working, but there’s nothing coming out. You’ve just asked the dead question: “Who else can I contact about financial advice, guidance or products?”
Your client’s suddenly glazed eyes are not the result of your sales technique or the reality of the sale. Rather, they’re the consequence of an ineffective referrals pitch. All too often, advisors come out of the blue with a question that floors many of their clients. The clients are startled, confused and put on the spot, and the advisors are left with too few contacts or a handful of random names with little chance of real follow-up. How does an advisor avoid this costly mistake? By being aware of a few key techniques that put the referrals question on the front lines.
1. Let your clients know you’ll be asking for referrals at the end of your meeting. This simple statement is designed to get them thinking. You might even keep a pad of paper nearby in case an idea strikes them suddenly.
2. Be specific about your request. Have a few detailed questions prepared in case they don’t understand what you’re looking for. Though it may surprise you, many clients may not know what type of referrals you want.