Asking Existing Clients for Referrals: A How-To Guide from a Wealth Advisor
As a wealth advisor, one of the key pillars for advancing your career in the financial services industry is the effective and efficient growth of your book of business. While there are numerous approaches to expand your client base, one avenue that is often overlooked but holds great potential is through client referrals.
Research shows that people who have been referred by a friend are 400% more likely to become clients. Leveraging client referrals not only enables you to expand your book of business but also provides an opportunity to strengthen your bond with existing clients. By working with individuals referred by your current clients, you can nurture and deepen these relationships, ultimately fostering a higher level of trust and confidence in your services.
Maximizing client referrals can be a game-changer in your practice, leading to exponential growth and long-term success in the industry. So, don't overlook this valuable resource; instead, make it an integral part of your strategy to thrive in the financial services market by following these five tips.
5 Tips to Generate Referrals from Existing Clients
- Prioritize client satisfaction: Ensuring your clients are consistently satisfied with the services you provide is of utmost importance. By maintaining regular check-ins through meetings or client surveys, financial advisors can establish and reinforce trust with their clientele. These proactive efforts not only demonstrate your commitment to their financial well-being but also create a platform for open communication and feedback. By actively listening to their needs and concerns, you can adapt your approach and offerings to better meet their expectations, leading to long-lasting and mutually beneficial client-advisor relationships.
- Think about referrals from your client’s perspective: Reflect on your own response when someone asks you for a referral, whether it's for a vacation destination, restaurant, or anything business-related. Utilizing the same tactics you would employ in a casual conversation when seeking referrals from your clients can be highly beneficial. By putting yourself in their shoes, you gain valuable insights into how to approach the referral request in a natural and non-intrusive manner.
- Identify the strongest clients for referrals: Begin by assessing your strongest and most reliable connections with your existing clients. The foundation of trust and a history of successful interactions with them will significantly ease the process of seeking referrals. When you have established a solid rapport with your clients and have a good understanding of their circle of friends, obtaining referrals becomes more manageable. Your familiarity with their social circles enables you to identify potential referred individuals and have a basic understanding of their personalities, making the referral process smoother and more effective.
- Create a pathway for referrals: Creating an open and inviting environment for existing clients to provide referrals is an excellent strategy to grow your referral business. During your conversations and working sessions with clients, you can plant seeds in both subtle and direct ways. Subtle approaches involve sharing stories about how referrals have positively impacted your business when discussing "how's business?" or mentioning your focus on specific industries or niches that align with their interests (e.g., physicians). For a more direct approach, consider incorporating messaging about client referrals in your email signature or client newsletter/communications. A friendly and straightforward message, like "Your referrals mean the world to us! If you know someone who could benefit from our services, please don't hesitate to connect them with us" sends a clear signal that you value their support and trust their judgment in recommending your services.
- Foster your relationship with your new referral and with your current client: Finally, once you’ve landed a referral, it’s paramount that you provide both your new client and previous client with consistent, quality service. Be sure to thank your client for their referral, and perhaps even send a gift as a gesture of your appreciation (keep in mind the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) marketing guidelines). Ensuring the satisfaction of both your new client and your existing client is essential to building an ethical, well-respected book of business. And, can also lead to receiving continued referrals in the future.