Fascinating tidbit: Sixty-five percent of high earning wealth managers earning over $800,000 annually ask their clients for referrals on a regular basis.
Growing a financial advisor practice through referrals is not easy to do. Everyone talks about it, but very few advisors actually do it! Why is that? Because advisors don’t know how to approach the subject; they don’t know how to coach their clients about the situations where there is a NEED for an introduction to a financial planner. This article is all about situations where a client can easily refer business to you.
See below for lifestyle changes that help you remind clients when they can refer you to friends and family.
One thing is for sure: the more you ask, the more you will receive referrals. Finding the right balance in how often you ask for referrals is key to the success of this strategy. During your monthly calls, if you bring up the referral topic, make a note in your CRM and avoid the subject the next month. Over asking is not a good thing.
When should you ask for referrals?
Look for opportunities to ask for referrals during client review meetings and during phone calls. Learn how to Foster a Referral Attitude in Everything You Do.
What should you be aware of?
Pay attention to what your clients are saying. Very often, they will give you all the information you could possibly need to ask for referrals if only you would LISTEN.
What kinds of questions should you ask?
Open ended questions give you a wealth of information:
- What’s going on in your life?
- How’s your family?
- What are your parents up to lately?
How do you bring up the topic of referrals?
Ask your clients: “Are you happy with the service you are receiving? Is the staff attentive to your needs? I’m glad you’re happy. We love working with our clients and want to grow through referral only. Can you think of anyone who might be looking for a financial advisor?”
Things you can say:
“We enjoy working with a wide variety of clients but we really do our best work with people like you who have more sophisticated financial needs such as those with inheritances, second marriages with children, pension plans with tricky rules, people in a high tax bracket, and those with estate planning needs.”
“Since we work only with select clients we want to grow through referral only.”
“We are a wealth management firm that welcomes new clients through referral only.”
“We are not doing marketing events as much as we used to; want to grow through referral only.”
What are the situations and opportunities clients can refer you?
Make your clients aware of the lifestyle changes that could trigger a referral:
- Events or issues happening with their kids; job relocation; job moves and old 401k’s
- Changes with their parents – aging parents; long term care insurance; parents selling a home; tax consequences of a home sale
- Births – 529 planning; life insurance
- Deaths – widows; inheritance situations
- Divorces – women who may need advisor
- Blended families – may need trust work, insurance, etc.
- New residents – Moving – is someone moving to the area?
- Business Owners – selling a business – investing the proceeds; estate planning; key person insurance; creating income strategies for the business owner; potential new business opportunities; taxation; employer sponsored plans – non qualified and qualified;
- Inheritances – new found money is an opportunity and sometimes the catalyst for needing financial advice.
- Job promotion – increase benefits, compensation- in a position to seek financial advice
- Market volatility – friends or family don’t know what to do with their investments due to market gyrations.
- Unhappy with current advisor – friends or family with complaints about their existing advisor – we welcome new clients through referral only