Have you ever wondered how some financial advisors manage to get all their business from referrals?  Or maybe how to get referrals?

With the right tactics applied, you can increase the chances and volume of referrals. Here are 8 of our favorites.

Getting referrals can be different for any business. It takes a high level of trust and loyalty between an advisor and their client for a referral. Here are eight surefire ways on how to get referrals and fill your prospect pipeline:

1. Surprise and Delight Your Clients

Referrals for financial advisors are a byproduct of the thoughtful planning and execution of valuable service. With this in mind, “What can I do to get more referrals?” turns into “How can I be of greater value?”

For example, if you want to get more referrals, you have to make yourself worth referring. Your firm and the value you deliver need to be worth talking about. This doesn’t happen by chance. How are you going to increase the number of referrals you receive? In this case, the key is to provide an experience. While your clients probably won’t be in a hurry to talk about the annual review you had with them, they will brag about how you threw them a surprise wedding anniversary party. 

Is their car dirty when they come in for an appointment? Have it washed. Are they laid up with a broken leg? Send dinner over. Find ways to surprise your clients, and you’ll make an impression they’ll be compelled to talk about. 

2. Leverage Social Media Platforms

Next, try expanding your network through social media offers a range of referral benefits. For example, sharing financial content online could provide an answer to a client, who then shares that information with a friend, setting you up as a future solution. Or, a current client you are connected with could be a secondary connection to someone you’d like to meet. In this case, reach out to your client and request a direct introduction (if appropriate).

Each introduction should fit the relationship and can range from sharing the benefits of your services to something more casual, like a lunch meeting.

3. Invite Guests to Events

Social events present the perfect opportunity for financial advisors to meet new prospects. Simply plan an activity your audience would be interested in and invite a few clients along. Go fishing, golfing, host a cooking class, or a wine tasting. Just be sure it is something your clients will find engaging or something they’ve shared interest in during prior meetings. Then, invite these clients to bring a guest. These guests could be friends, family members, co-workers, etc. Many of these individuals will appreciate the event you’re hosting and could turn into clients themselves or offer word-of-mouth advertising. 

4. Provide Gifts

Now, hundreds of world-class financial advisors have used the gift-giving strategy with great success. The next time you hold an event, put a blurb on the invitation that says every client who brings a new referral for your financial advisory to the event will receive a gift. 

For example, bottles of wine, BBQ grill sets, gift certificates, and a ton of other prizes can be used. After all, everyone likes free stuff, and at the end of the day, your clients know you are running a business, so they’re unlikely to be offended.

5. Forge Professional Alliances with Centers of Influence

CPAs, attorneys, and other financial professionals do not offer the same services as you but likely have clients who would benefit from those services. By connecting with these financial professionals and offering ways to make their clients more happy, you can build a professional relationship that offers mutual benefits. And by expanding your network, you can offer more support to your clients.

Demonstrate what you have to offer, and keep the focus on their clients. Gradually, as the relationship warms up, you’ll have a foundation on which to ask for something more formal. This relationship can end up in countless financial advisor referrals. If you’re interested in this approach, we have email templates for the following COIs as part of our “Do It For Me” program.

6. Invest In Your Web Presence 

If you want more referrals for your financial advisory, you need to make it easy for people to find you online and ensure they like what they see. 

Just as a balanced investment portfolio should include a variety of investments, a balanced practice-management strategy needs to include multiple ways to engage clients and prospects. 

Different clients will respond to different actions. Reviews, phone calls, educational events, social events, email marketing, and social media. All of these efforts need to be consistent, with your website acting as a catch-all for all marketing activities. 

7. Offer Free Introductory Services to Referrals 

Your clients know the benefits of your services. However, requesting a direct referral in a meeting isn’t necessarily the best approach. Instead, offer benefits to anyone your client refers. For example, you could offer specified services – like a portfolio analysis – for free to referrals only. This reduces some of the initial pressure of scheduling a meeting and offers additional incentives to your client’s network.

8. Reward Referral Behavior

lastly, every referral – regardless of the quality – needs to be celebrated. At the very least, send a handwritten thank-you note to the referrer. 

In addition, if the person they referred becomes a client, take an additional step by sending a thoughtful gift. Always follow up with the referrer to let them know whether you were able to help the person they referred. Have a special dinner with your top clients each year, and acknowledge each person who sent you a referral. 

You can use the FMG referral automated campaign to make it even easier. Every quarter, an email is sent to contacts of your choosing, thanking them for their business and asking them to share a referral. In exchange, they receive a valuable and relevant ebook. All you have to do is turn it on, and your customers will be reminded they can always send referrals your way.

The more you reinforce and reward referral behavior from your clients, the more referrals your financial advisory will receive. The bottom line is that you can’t rely on a single source for referrals if you want to build a referral-based practice. 

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