Want to enrich your referral strategy? Review these seven action points with your team to make sure you’re doing as much as possible to gain valuable clients — then really act on them. 

  1. Review your relationships. Your habit should be to check in with your clients pretty much every time you meet to make sure your value is being recognized and your communication is where it needs to be. Make sure all your relationships are on solid ground.  If your client sees the value, then you can promote referrals or ask for referrals.
  2. Host client celebration events. Advisor Joe DeSena has turned retirement parties into a consistent client acquisition tool – without ever asking for referrals. You can do this with wedding anniversaries, birthdays, or even by helping a client launch a new product or service. In the context of the celebration, you’ll meet many new people.
  3. Promote referrals. When your clients express satisfaction with you, your work, your team, etc., ask for referrals. Say things like, “Don’t keep us a secret” or “We’re never too busy to see if we can be a resource for others you care about.” Better yet, teach all your clients how you handle the referrals they might give to you. Take away their perceived risk in giving referrals.
  4. Host client focus groups. This is one of the best ways to increase client loyalty and generate great referrals. Create gatherings of about 10 clients for the purpose of improving your service. Use this time to review your client-service model and communication, and discuss the types of people who fit your practice. Most of your clients will enjoy an opportunity to help you improve and attract great new clients. 
  5. Articulate your value with more confidence and clarity. Value expert Leo Pusateri accurately observes that, “Most advisors wing in when it comes to talking about their value proposition. Because of this, they miss opportunities to bring in new clients.” In this current environment, many of your prospects will be interviewing more than one advisor before they make their choice. Make sure you are, as Leo says, “A black belt in communicating your value proposition.” Learn more about Leo’s work here.
  6. Build your own personal sales force. Have you built your own personal sales force yet? If not, what are you waiting for? With a little bit of consistent focus and action on your part, you can easily form a group of advocates. The best way to meet most of these advocates is through your clients, which instantly gives you trust and credibility. Look for: CPAs, attorneys, real estate agents (residential and commercial), tax preparers, human resource directors, clergy, and many more.
  7. Ask for referrals: You didn’t think I’d forget about this one, did you? The key ingredient in asking for referrals is coming prepared. First, know what you want to say and deliver it in a natural, conversational way. Second, know where you want to take the conversation. Suggest specific people in a client’s life that you think would benefit from your knowledge or services. Coming prepared will boost your confidence as well as your results.