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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Focus on introductions rather than referrals

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Since joining my father’s practice 13 years ago, I have worked alongside him to advise his longstanding clients, and I often take on their children as my own clients. Those client introductions have been a huge part of expanding my personal book of business.

Notice I said introductions and not referrals — an introduction creates a stronger opportunity than a referral. Just think about how an introduction over a lunch with a current client and their friend or colleague can be different than having a name on a piece of paper to call.  

My advice to advisors just starting out or trying to expand their business is to provide a quality experience for every client, ranging from the client who has been with you the longest and has a large amount of investible capital to the client who is just starting out and beginning to navigate their way to long-term financial success. I receive referrals from both young and old clients because I have clearly defined service models for different types of clients with tailored communications to millennials and to baby boomers.

I take a comprehensive approach to advising clients. I like to sit down with them and talk through their lifestyles and goals to provide the best options and products. I would suggest this approach for all advisors to take with clients, but you should also be willing to serve someone who comes in with smaller-scale objectives. Although it may not bring your practice much profit at the time, it helps you build your next generation of clients.

I have also acquired a lot of clients organically from my community involvement. I’m involved in several community organizations and have gotten a lot of new business from people who know me from other places.

In the past year, we have witnessed global events that shook the market. Take the time to call your clients on those down days, even just to remind them that they don’t want to make any short-term decisions when they have long-term goals. Those are the things that bring a practice referrals and growth over time.