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Life Health > Running Your Business > Marketing and Lead Generation

The Power of Introductions

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What You Need to Know

  • Asking for referrals may feel awkward.
  • Offering to advise people that your clients love should feel great.
  • People who are getting your help may be easier to turn into clients than people who come in through referrals.

It was 2019, and David had hit a plateau in his business as a financial advisor.

He had started with what his manager called his “warm market” — his family, friends, and acquaintances — which led to his taking on a very few clients. But he was too uncomfortable to ask them for referrals, so he turned next to buying so-called “qualified leads.”

He was spending money he didn’t have for leads that turned out to be far less than qualified. But he did get an occasional client from them.

David joined an early morning networking group in 2018, and made sure to be there every week, and that got him one new client over the course of the year.

But David had a young family to support and there just wasn’t enough money coming in to pay his bills. He was running up credit cards and paying his mortgage and other bills late.

I asked David to take another look at referrals and he became very uncomfortable.

“I don’t want people to know how bad things are and asking for referrals just feels needy,” he told me.

“Then let’s stop asking for referrals as a way to beg for business,” I responded, “and start offering clients a chance to help someone they care about.”

I explained to David that just that one shift — from asking for help to build his business, to asking people if there’s someone they want to give the opportunity to work with him — could open him up to great leads and make it easier to make them clients.

We worked on changing his mindset, and changing the way he conducted the introduction conversation from being about his wanting more business to helping his happy clients “pay it forward” to the people they cared about most. We also worked on how to get more out of networking and what it takes to get clients so engaged, they want to give you referrals.

After a few weeks, David announced that he had received two introductions and that one of them had already become a client — his first new client in over a month.

It’s 2022, and David is now earning a comfortable mid-six figures. His bills are paid on time and he and his wife bought a new home two years ago. David attributes all these changes to the first lesson he learned about asking for introductions.

If you are not getting enough quality leads, and you’re also not asking people to introduce you because it feels awkward and uncomfortable, look at how you’re asking and who your request is serving. If your focus is on helping them help someone in their lives, you’ll feel much less uncomfortable and you’ll be getting the introductions you want.


Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel is a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals. He has served as an MDRT Academy trainer, is on the faculty of the InsuranceProShop and is a preferred mentor with InsuranceWebX. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients. Schussel’s scheduling calendar is available here.

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(Photo: Shutterstock)