First and foremost, our business consists of building client relationships. Marketing is simply a means of meeting more people so we can build more relationships.
This process has become inherently more difficult over the years due to changes in how we can market, and to whom. Obviously, referrals are by far the best means of cultivating new clients. Yet most advisors do a poor job of getting referrals. Why?
- The way we were originally taught to get referrals doesn’t work today.
- Advisor / client contact is minimal, therefore the advisor doesn’t consider the relationship strong enough to ask for a referral.
- It’s intimidating because you do not have an effective process. Why continue to do something that hasn’t reaped rewards?
- The relationship provided by the advisor doesn’t constitute enough value on behalf of the client to give a referral.
- A referral strategy has not become an integral part of the advisor’s business platform.
- The wrong clients are asked for referrals.
So… what can you do to make this process work for you?
First, begin by separating your A-B-C clients. These clients are:
A. A client you genuinely like to work with, from whom you have made what you consider your average commission or fee, and who is an advocate for you (currently sends you business)
B. A client you genuinely like to work with, could make your average commission or fee from, and would willingly be an advocate if you coached them properly