One of the most effective ways of building your business is through word-of-mouth from your happy clients. We all know this. Some of us regularly take the key step of asking for referrals as a part of our sales process. That action is important but unless you know how to position the conversation, you probably aren’t getting the results you want.
I’ve heard over and over the frustration Advisors feel when their clients say: ‘You’re doing an excellent job – of course I’d be happy to recommend you to my friends and colleagues’ but then… nothing happens. No referral business comes.
Where is the disconnect?
It’s in the way our brains work. We are built to solve problems. As much as your clients may love you, their priority is not to solve the problem of helping you build your business. Instead, beyond managing their own busy lives, their priorities lie with helping those nearest and dearest to them solve their problems.
To get more referrals, make this critical shift: Instead of asking them for referrals based on your amazing service, ask them who they know that is also dealing with xx specific situation. Think about what the conversation between your client and their colleague might sound like that would trigger a thought to refer you.
Here’s an example of a Referral Trigger Conversation:
Your client John’s friend Lucy:
‘I’m working my tail off trying to build my business and every quarter I have this massive tax bill. I can never get ahead!’
John: ‘You know what? My Advisor helped me incorporate and I saved huge on taxes! He also showed me how I can plough those savings back into my business. You want his number?’
John, being the awesome client and good person he is, will be motivated to help Lucy when he hears a problem he can solve. He’ll be excited to tell her about someone he really respects. Your client also gets the personal benefits of being a hero to someone important to him and the social capital of helping solve a problem for someone he may do business with.
See the difference in emotional investment embedded in this shift of approach?
To get this going, make a list of specific problems you solve. Think of those problems from the client’s perspective as opposed to your process. Write out some notes on what a Referral Trigger Conversation would sound like, and start to communicate those triggers to your clients. You are, in essence, training them to look for opportunities to refer you.
Your happy clients do want to give you referrals. Make it easy for them to see opportunities to do so, and watch more business roll in!
And remember… Speak from the heart. It’s good business.