It has been said that one of the best ways to build your client base is through referrals. But if you’re like many agents and advisors, you struggle to persuade clients to regularly offer them up. Here are some myths that may be preventing you from acquiring more qualified referrals:
1. Want a referral? Just ask.
Advisors know that asking for referrals is the most direct way of letting clients know that you want them, but many are reluctant to ask. This reluctance makes asking for referrals anything but easy — and for good reason. Asking for referrals may imply that you’re in a negative position and need more business or that you’re trying to grow a large (and less personal) practice. Moreover, when aggressively asking for referrals, it can be all about you, your business and your sales.
In fact, asking for referrals may not be a natural extension of the relationship you’ve developed with your client. That’s why we sometimes “forget” to ask — even when we know asking could help us expand our businesses.
Some of the industry’s top producers receive 100 or more referrals each year without having to directly solicit them. How do they do it? These advisors say it comes down to the relationships they have with their clients. So ask yourself how you would rate your client relationships.
A periodic, proactive call, review meeting or handwritten note can drastically alter the way a client feels about you and your organization. It may sound simple, but consistent, unexpected touches may give clients just what they need to comfortably (and without prompting) tell others about you.