Yes! You Can Ask for Referrals Without Begging and Without Hurting Relationships!
by Bill Cates
How do the affluent want to meet a financial professional like you? One recent study surveyed over 4,000 affluent individuals. It determined that the affluent would prefer to meet you either through a referral from a friend or colleague or through a referral from a CPA or other trusted advisor. This article will give you my proven strategy for asking for referrals from your affluent clients (all your clients for that matter), without begging and without hurting the relationship. If you think that your affluent clients won't give you referrals, think again. Not all will, but a significant percentage will - especially if you met them through a referral.
Some Say You Can't Ask
There are a few "marketing gurus" who will tell you that you can't ask for referrals in today's marketplace. Please - don't listen to them. They're wrong. I've taught several thousands of financial professionals my simple method for asking for referrals and thousands are using it effectively to generate referrals. No - you shouldn't ask for referrals the old way - the producer-centered way; but you can ask for referrals in a client-centered manner. That makes all the difference. The VIPS Method™ for Asking for Referrals
Here's What It Might Sound Like
YOU: So, Bob. We've talked about quite a few things over the past couple of weeks. I'm curious, what stands out as being the most important or valuable thing we've done thus far?
BOB: Well… I'd have to say that the most important thing is helping me get clear on a few things. I feel more clear and confident about my financial future. I now realize, if I follow your strategies, I should be able to have enough money to send my three children to private universities and still retire quite comfortably. As you know, I had been quite concerned about that. I also have a better handle on how I want to care for my family once I'm gone.
YOU: That's great. I'm glad you're finding value in the work we're doing. You know, if it wasn't for George, we wouldn't have met, nor had a chance to do this important work. I guess we both owe George some thanks.
BOB: I've already thanked him.
YOU: Good. You know, with that in mind, I have an important question to ask you.
YOU: I'm wondering if we could brainstorm for a few minutes to see if we can identify some folks you care about that you think should be aware of the work I do? Would you feel okay talking about that for a minute?
BOB: I suppose so.
YOU: Since we're just brainstorming here, I'll throw out a few ideas for us to explore. Last week you mentioned your sister Barbara. Maybe we can start with her.
BOB: Actually she might be a candidate for what you do.
YOU: Great. I'd like to learn more about her and we can talk about the most appropriate way for me to meet her, but first… There's a concept I call "Money in Motion" that might help us determine others you know who might truly need my help. For instance, like yourself, who do you know who's just recently sold or is thinking about selling their business?
BOB: Nobody comes to mind right this minute.
YOU: That fine. We're just brainstorming. Let me run another idea by you. We do some very important work for people who are in the mode of changing jobs. Who do you know who might be in that category?
It's really as simple as that. You need to find the words that work best for you. Just make sure you touch all the bases.
It's best to come to your meetings prepared to talk referrals rather than to wing it. As you prepare your agenda for your client meeting, think a little about what the value discussion might sound like. Be prepared for that. Then think a bit about whom you know who they might know. If you have thought through this conversation a bit, you'll be more confident - less likely to wimp out - and you'll be more effective in getting referrals.
Bill Cates is the author of Unlimited Referrals and the creator of the Unlimited Referrals® MarketingSystem. Bill works with producers and their companies to increase sales by attracting high-quality clients through a steady and predictable flow of referrals.
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