Benchmark Business Group

What Is Your Strategy For Getting Referrals?

June 6, 2023

How referable is your agency? It’s no secret that referrals are important in the financial services industry. Not only do they cut down marketing costs, but they help increase closing ratios as the new prospects come to your business with built-in trust.

Yet, as well known as this is, many financial professionals still don’t ask for referrals.

A few reasons why include:

  • Fear of rejection
  • Concern of upsetting clients
  • Too busy

Here are four insights to help you receive more referrals:

Go above and beyond. People don’t tend to give referrals unless they have exceptional service. If your service is average, they probably won’t be excited to recommend your services. What creates exceptional service is different for every agency, but agencies with a strong customer service promise who then deliver on that promise have a competitive advantage over agencies that are not able to communicate their promise clearly and easily. We encourage you to define your customer service promise so that it’s easy to reinforce to your clients how you provide exceptional service.

Get over the fear of asking for a referral. If people didn’t like to give referrals, then sites like Yelp or Google Reviews wouldn’t exist. The truth is people like to give their opinion and they like to help. What most people don’t like is feeling pressured into giving referrals, which is easily controlled by the language you use. In asking for referrals consider “why” clients would want to give you the name and contact information. What’s in it for them? And often the answer is a combination of they want to help you and they want to help their family and friends.

Don’t think of referrals as only getting phone numbers. There are always going to be people who won’t give you the phone numbers of their family and friends. It used to be that phone numbers were easily found by opening the phone book, but today phone numbers are more closely guarded. Sometimes clients are more comfortable with giving your name to their family and friends. This is also a win. Additional alternatives include:

  • Handing 3 business cards to each client and asking to pass them on to people they know. This works best if you give examples of who might use your services, such as anyone who owns their own house or anyone that is expanding their family, etc. You can be also creative with the cards by making special referral cards instead of using your regular business cards.
  • Asking your client to post on social media and tag you. Have a few pre-written templates they can customize to make this easy.
  • Ask your client to leave an online review for your business. Use a link or QR code that directly takes them to the review site to make this easier for them.

Use an agenda and put referrals on it. Don’t try to hide that you want referrals. Instead, embrace the mindset. Use an agenda for your client meetings and make sure referrals is a bullet point on the agenda. This makes it clear to the client and more likely that you won’t forget. By adding referrals as part of the agenda, the fear of rejection or concern that a client might not like being asked is easier to overcome when you make referrals a natural part of your meeting conversations.

We recommend you spend some time building a strategy for getting referrals. We promise that it will only seem uncomfortable for a little while and your business will be rewarded for your efforts.

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