Make sure you are doing as much as possible to attract clients through referrals—the way they prefer to meet you.
By Bill Cates
1. Relationship reviews/value discussions
Check in with your clients every time you meet with them to make sure your value is being recognized and/or your relationship/communication level is where it needs to be. Make sure all your relationships are on solid ground. If a client recognizes your value it is easier to promote or ask for referrals.
2. Host client celebration events
Advisor Joe DeSena has turned retirement parties into a consistent client acquisition tool without ever asking for referrals. You can do this with wedding anniversaries and birthdays, as well. You’ll be meeting many new people in the context of celebration.
3. Promote referrals
When your clients express satisfaction with you, your work or your team, promote referrals. Say things like, "Don’t keep us a secret" or "We’re never too busy to see if we can be a resource for others you care about." Better yet, teach all your clients how you handle the referrals they might give to you. Take away their perceived risk in giving referrals.
4. Host client focus groups
One of the best ways to increase client loyalty and generate great referrals is by hosting client focus groups. Create gatherings of about ten clients for the purpose of getting better in how you serve your clients (review your client-service model and communication), as well as discuss the types of people who fit your practice. Most of your clients will enjoy an opportunity to help you get better and help you attract great new clients.
5. Articulate your value with more confidence and clarity
Value expert Leo Pusateri said "Most advisors wing in when it comes to talking about their value proposition. Because of this, they miss opportunities to bring in new clients." In this current environment, many of your prospects will be interviewing more than one advisor before they make their choice. Make sure you are, as Leo says, "A black belt in communicating your value proposition." Learn more about Leo’s work at www.PusateriConsulting.com.
6. Build your own personal sales force
With a little bit of consistent focus and action on your part, you can easily form a group of advocates. The best way to meet most of these advocates is through your clients.This way, you come to them with a higher level of trust and credibility. Look for: CPAs, attorneys, real estate agents (residential and commercial), tax preparers, human resource directors and clergy members.
7. Ask for referrals
The key ingredient in asking for referrals is coming prepared. First, know what you want to say. Your script should be delivered in a very natural, conversational way. Second, know where you want to take the conversation. Suggest specific people your client knows that you believe you would be a good resource. Coming prepared will boost your confidence as well as your results.
Bill Cates is president of Referral Coach International and author of Get More Referrals Now! and Don’t Keep Me a Secret! To learn about Bill’s free newsletter, boot camps, coaching program and video training program go to www.ReferralCoach.com. He may be contacted at Info@ReferralCoach.com or 301-497-2200.