Ask Abby, Marketing Maven

My Pipeline is Dry

Dear Abby,

I need a better approach to filling my pipeline.  I find that I have spent so much time on my personal networks and it's gotten me pretty far, but I am feeling all tapped out.  I ask for referrals, but they come slowly and I really feel like I have hit a brick wall.  What can I do?

Mark, Atlanta, GA

Dear Mark,

Thanks for writing in.  I guess my first question to you would be if you have really sat down and looked at your client list and really been asking for referrals.  My guess is probably "no".  Perhaps if you had a systematic approach to asking for referrals and a solid follow up process, you would find them coming in a bit quicker. 

Most advisors, like you, leverage their personal networks for potential clients.  Keep in mind that over 90% of new clients do come from referrals from your personal networks, so it is safe to assume you are barking up the right tree.  What you may not be doing is keeping track or organizing the approach in a way that tracks your results and your follow up.  I recommend you use your CRM and set up a workflow and do a referral campaign to existing clients.  Send them a note letting them know you are looking to grow or tell them this in person in your next meeting, follow up on that note (or conversation) with a phone call ensuring they received it, go through their social networking profiles and see who they are connected with so you can ask them for the introduction to a person rather than a generic ask, and then make sure to reach out to the referral immediately.  Once you touch base with the referral, keep your client in the know and send them a thank you gift if the prospect turns into a client. 

Stay dedicated and organized and I feel confident you will see success.

Good Luck!

Abby

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