We hear it all over the industry: asking for referrals is one of the most effective ways an advisor can grow a business. So why is it advisors often dread asking for referrals? The truth is, in order for their businesses to continue to grow, many are going to have to get comfortable with it. In my coaching with advisors, the reason I find so many are reluctant is because they need a little help with their value proposition.
It all comes back to having the confidence and conviction to look your clients in the eye and believe you are providing them with unmatched value. Part of this confidence, of course, comes from having your own style, and this is the first step in effectively generating referrals. Most advisors fit into one of three categories:
- Passive – You rely on showing your clients a great experience and hope that they will tell others about you.
- Neutral – You tell your clients you are looking for additional clients and would be happy to have them introduce you to their friends, family and business colleagues.
- Politely Aggressive – You ask your clients, “Who do you know or care about that could benefit from the kind of service I provide?”
Although it may seem a bit straightforward and a little uncomfortable at first, Peak Advisor Alliance coaches believe that advisors should strive to become politely aggressive. In fact, many benefits come with this approach. Instead of hoping and wishing your clients will refer you, you are actively pursuing referrals.
By asking the question outright, you are placing the value on the client experience you provide. It reminds your existing clients you are in their lives to help them, and continuously positions you as someone who is trying to be helpful. Plus, it shows you are confident that the service you provide is making a positive difference in your clients’ lives.
But what’s in it for the client? What motivates them to give referrals? When presented as a way to help their friends and loved ones, clients are more likely to make introductions and share contacts than when presented as a way to do the advisor a favor.
Remember to change your mindset from asking to offering, and never feel like you are begging for clients. Rather, you are helping more people benefit from your invaluable services. Make an offer, not a request: “Who would you like us to help?”