The Value of Client Referrals

by, Marilyn Shearman, Brinker Capital

The welfare of any financial advisor’s business relies heavily on the ability to acquire new referrals.  One of the most efficient and effective means of client acquisition is through referrals from existing clients.

Here are a few easy steps that can help you as you build your client base:

  1. Build loyalty by being a proactive resource to your clients.  Loyal clients can be the best source of referrals.  Make sure that you are your client’s primary resource for all their wealth management needs so that you stay on the top of their mind.
  2. Create a referral process.  Sure you can get referrals, but you want to make sure you are getting ones that are the best match to your business mission and vision.  Look at your top clients and determine the qualities of those that you feel can help you expand your business.  Don’t just talk business.  Take time to get to know what your clients are interested in both personally and professionally. By understanding their social and professional circles, you can take a strategic and efficient approach to client identification, cultivation and acquisition.
  3. Clearly define your value proposition.  What distinguishes you from other financial advisors?  Why should someone choose you?  Your ability to clearly articulate your value, strengths and expertise as a financial advisor is imperative.  The more you believe in the services and solutions you provide, the easier it is to ask for referrals.
  4. Ask for referrals.  Contact your top 10 clients and ask if they can recommend anyone that might benefit from working with you.  Be sure to get enough details so that you have an idea of who the prospect is before you have the initial conversation.
  5. Make contact.  Reach out to the prospect, either via phone, email or letter, and offer a free consultation for your services.  Even if you are unable to set up an appointment right away, maintain contact through periodic communications so that when they are ready to speak with a financial advisor, you are their first call.
  6. Develop a client management system.  Create a new client profile form that captures important information for future meetings.
  7. Say Thank You.  Be sure to thank your current client for the referral.  Once you’ve made contact with the prospect, be sure to follow up with a note thanking them for their time and to let them know that you hope to work with them in the future.

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