It’s time that the financial services industry changes its paradigm (belief system) around referrals. It’s time to make the switch from a producer-centered referral process to a client-centered approach. Let me explain.
Most advisors have been taught an approach to referrals that is what I call “producer-centered.” They get taught to tell their prospects and clients, “I get paid in two ways.” They get taught to say, “I’m trying to build my business and I need your help.”
“What’s wrong with that?” you may be asking. Well, there’s nothing inherently wrong with those approaches. In fact, they still can, and do, produce a trickle of results. But let’s take a closer look.
What Your Peers Are Reading
First, as a prospect, I don’t want to hear about how you put money in your pocket. I know if I give you a referral that will happen. You don’t have to hit me over the head with that. Once I’ve become your happy and loyal client and I see you doing work on my behalf for which you might not get compensated, I might care about how you get paid. But as a prospect, I know you wouldn’t be in front of me if there wasn’t some potential for compensation. Telling people how you get paid in the way it’s normally taught in this industry, is YOU-centered.
Are you earning the right?
Referrals are an earned right. No prospect is obligated to give you referrals. You earn the right to their introductions by how much value you bring to the relationship.
Your goal with every prospect and client should be to become super referable as quickly as possible. Your goal is to earn the right to referrals sooner, not later. You do this by making every appointment with your prospects and clients valuable experiences they want to tell others about.
If you’re delivering value to your prospects, they’ll see it, and they’ll want others to experience it as well. This is how you become referable quickly.
Setting up referrals as an obligation (how you get paid) will often increase the tension on an appointment — something you are usually working so hard to reduce.