Referrals are the driving force behind most advisors’ practices. Without them, sales suffer and practices close their doors. Bill Cates, president of Referral Coach International, suggests nine ways to get more referrals:

  1. Treat the entire referral process with importance. Create the time for referral conversations.
  2. Earn the right to get referrals through the process. Exceed clients’ expectations by thinking about the process, not about the product. Clients think referrals when advisors get them to think about the big picture.
  3. Have a client-service model that drives client contacts. Stay in touch on two levels: Continue to bring value to the relationship and build business friendships with clients.
  4. Create personal sales force with centers of influence. Create an influential “sales force” that knows how well you take care of clients, the value you bring, your ideal client profile and the best way to offer referrals.
  5. Target niches. People in a niche communicate with each other.
  6. Let A and B clients know you value their help in bringing clients to the door. They can’t refer people if they don’t know you want new clients.
  7. Upgrade referral quality by learning about prospects. Don’t settle for a name and phone number. Find out what the referrer knows about the person he’s sending your way.
  8. Keep a referral source updated about how you follow up on his leads. Advisors must do three things: Follow up on every referral ASAP; let the source know his lead is being followed up; thank the referral source with a note or small gift.
  9. Expect to get referrals.

For more information, visit www.referralcoach.com.

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