If you read my last post, “5 Reasons You Don’t Have More Referrals,” you may have thought, there have got to be so many more reasons. And you’d be right! See how smart you are? So here are five more reasons you don’t have the referrals you’re expecting.
1. You don’t meet enough people who serve the same market as you
If you’re a financial advisor, shame on you if you don’t know and work with a real estate agent, estate planning attorney, accountant, home inspector, property and casualty rep, and maybe a banker. Shame on you again if you know them and aren’t regularly referred by them. These are your primary referral sources – or, at least, they should be. Of course, most of them know this – but do you? Which professions also serve your market? Who meets the same people you want to meet? It might be time to meet them.
2. You don’t contribute enough to outside organizations
There’s a ton of them – Rotary, Lions, or Elks Clubs, chambers of commerce, associations, and networking organizations. Join the ones that make the most sense, meet the shakers and movers, and ask how you can help. It’s a great way to quickly make friends, and there’s plenty to do – so get involved!
3. You spend no time planning for business meetings
Google your prospects and referral sources, and print their Web pages. As you read through, write down any questions you might have right on the pages, in red pen. Then, bring the pages with you to your next meeting and dedicate that time to having your questions answered.
4. You don’t take the time to properly thank your referral sources
Maybe it’s a note. Maybe it’s a quote. Maybe it’s a boat (just kidding). A sincere “thank you” is often enough for most. Why not be the one who goes above and beyond what most would do? Handwritten notes, a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, a bottle of wine with their name on it, tickets to an activity (a ball game, the theater, a comedy club) – anything goes. It doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you add a personal touch.
5. You don’t pay it forward
Remember the movie “Pay It Forward?” Rent it or put it in your Netflix queue today. “Pay It Forward” is about doing the right thing for others, and it will come back to you tenfold. Good things happen to those who do good things; that’s just how it works. So how can you help? By getting to know others, asking questions, giving referrals, offering suggestions (not billable), introducing resources, and connecting the people you meet with the people they need to meet. How’s that for starters?
Yes, I’m sure there are even more reasons you may not be seeing referrals. If you’re not sure what they are, just ask those you think should be referring you. Just be prepared for the answer and open to make a change. It takes time and a great deal of effort to create a reputation and ultimately generate referrals; it takes even more time and effort to attract the type of referrals you really want. Most advisors don’t get it – do you?
Michael Goldberg is a speaker, author, consultant and the founder of Building Blocks Consulting.For more information or to subscribe to Michael’s free online newsletter and blog The Building Blocks to Success please visit www.NetworkingForProducers.com or www.TheBuildingBlockstoSuccess.com.