Close Close

Financial Planning > Charitable Giving

3 proven ways to get referrals without asking

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Here are seven proven ways to promote referrals to your clients. About 70 percent of the time, these techniques will result in your clients giving you referrals at some time in the future. However, you can expect about 30 percent of the time, these techniques will generate referrals right on the spot.

To show you how practical these techniques are, I’ll bring them to life with a sample script.

1. Reminder of confidentiality: “George, there’s one thing I want to run by you. Many of my clients like to introduce me to others they think should know about the important work I do. I just wanted you to know, should that opportunity present itself to you, the work we do is always kept completely confidential. They will never learn about your financial situation from me and vice versa. Does that make sense?”

2. Whom you serve the best: “George and Martha, there’s something I want to mention to you. Many of my clients like to introduce me to others they think should know about the important work I do. Should that ever come up for you, I thought it would be good for you to know for whom our processes are best suited. These days, our practice is geared toward successful couples like yourself. They usually have children but not always. Generally, they have a combined income of over $100,000 – some of my clients are even in the $400,000 range and more. While I don’t expect you to know someone’s exact financial situation, you probably have a sense. Is that clear?” (Note: Insert your ideal client profile into this template.)

3. How you will contact them: “Randy, quite often my clients like to recommend the work I do to others they care about. Should that ever come up for you, I thought you should know how I usually like to handle those situations. First of all, I don’t like to surprise people with a phone call out of the blue. I’ve found everyone seems to feel most comfortable when they know I’ll be contacting them and have a sense of why. Does that make sense?

So if you identify someone you think I should contact, please come to me first. Together, we’ll figure out the best way to approach them. We’ll do it in a way that suits your relationship and feels comfortable and natural to everyone. If they are interested, great. We’ll meet for a no-obligation review – like we did initially. If they decide they don’t care to move forward, I assure you I won’t pressure them or become a pest. That’s just not my style.

If someone brings it up from their side, see if they’d like me to call them. I’ve found sometimes I need to be professionally proactive to get people to take a look at the important work I do. How does all this sound?”

There are four more techniques I would like to share with you next week, so please check back.

Bill Cates is the author of “Get More Referrals Now!” and “Don’t Keep Me a Secret!” Go to for more information and to sign up for his newsletter. Bill can be reached at [email protected].