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Ramp Up Referrals

The relationship matters.

As you plan for 2020 marketing, remember this: Some advisors get more referrals than others. The big question is why? It depends largely on the relationship they’ve forged with their clients. Think about why clients refer for a moment. It’s not because their friends cannot find a good financial advisor, no matter how hard they look. It’s because they like the advisor and want to help. The Oechsli Institute’s latest research helps illustrate this dynamic:

How would you classify your relationship with your financial advisor?

One-third of today’s affluent have a business and social relationship with their advisor. In other words, they spend time together outside of the office enjoying each other’s company. Look at the impact this has on the number of times the affluent recommend their advisor to friends or family members:

financial advisors socialize

Those with a business and social relationship were more than twice as likely to have given three or more recommendations over the past year. 31.6% of those with a business-only relationship never recommended their advisor at all, compared with only 11.3% of those with business-social.

So how do you take action?

  • Social meals—Start with one lunch per week with a good client (consistency is key) and stay true to your word (no business). This is just a time to get to know them a little better.
  • Client events—Host events to get to know your clients on a more personal level. These could be wine tastings, golf clinics, or anything else you both enjoy. Sharing experiences will serve that objective much faster than always meeting in your office.
  • Personal calls and texts—There’s no better way for you to show that you’re thinking about clients, even when you’re not sitting in front of them. For your best clients, drop a reminder in your calendar to engage them periodically.

The relationship matters and is completely within your control. Set some time aside to plan for the right behaviors. How many of these actions (lunches, events and personal calls) can you do per day, per week, per month? As those numbers climb, your referrals will as well.

Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are partners with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell @KevinANichols

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