Giving you the right track to run on

A fortnightly pearl of wisdom to fast track your success

CHRISISM #36 - Prepositioning Referrals

07 March 2017

Prepositioning Referrals

The large majority of advisers would substantially improve the number of referrals they get from new clients if they simply disciplined themselves to ask every new client for referrals at the conclusion of initial business. However, I believe we can improve our results in this area even more by putting just a couple of building blocks in place during the initial advice process.

In this fortnight’s Chrisism I want to share with you a very simple step that I inserted into my initial client engagement process a long time ago, and which I believe was a major reason why 56% of the new clients I took on after coming to Australia gave me referrals. That may not sound like a particularly high percentage figure, but I can assure you the majority of advisers I speak to would give their right arm to get referrals from more than half of their new clients!

I also believe that this first building block for making referrals a natural consequence of business can and should be inserted at a very early stage in the process, namely at the end of the “Introduction” stage of the first client meeting i.e. before the completion of the Fact Find.

Once you have completed the crucial steps of positioning protection (off the back of the FSG) and establishing and getting agreement on the purpose of the meeting you are about to have, I believe the next crucial thing to do is to get your client’s ‘buy-in’ to the concepts of long term business relationship and regularity and continuity of service (see Chrisism#20). Then it is off the back of the latter that we have the perfect springboard for getting a commitment to the principle of referrals even at this very early stage in the process.

I will now share with you what I would say in this context, but I stress that you should phrase it in your own way, understanding the message you are imparting but doing it in the language that you would use, not the language I would use.

So having got the client’s ‘buy-in’ to the concept of regularity and continuity of service, I would go on to say:-

 “So as a direct result of that, the more clients I take on the more time I have to spend looking after those clients and providing them with a high quality service, and therefore the less time I have left to expand my client base, which I haven’t quite finished doing yet – hence my meeting with you today, right?

 So I do tend to rely pretty much exclusively on my existing clients to recommend people to me who they think would appreciate the same quality of service, on the assumption of course that you yourself are only going to become a client if you believe there is a quality service to be had, agreed? 

Great! So assuming that you also recognise that you are not unique in being able to benefit from  that service and that other people you know could also benefit, would there then under those circumstances be any reason why you wouldn’t be happy to recommend other people to me?”

When asked in this way and in this context, I have found it most unusual for clients to resist agreeing to the concept of giving referrals even at this early stage in the process, thereby sowing the seeds for referrals becoming the natural consequence of business.

If you would like to get the full picture of my 3 Step System for Referrals as well as a whole host of other effective client engagement tools that you can start using the next day, then you should make sure you come along to my upcoming Client Acquisition & Engagement Skills Workshop in your capital city this month.

For content details and registration links, click on the link below NOW as spaces are limited. 

Register for your City using the links below.
Cost: $450 + GST per person
Earlybird: $400 + GST per person
Time: 9.00am – 4.30pm

Melbourne – Tuesday, 21 March

Adelaide – Wednesday, 22 March

Perth – Thursday, 23 March

Brisbane – Tuesday, 28 March

Sydney – Thursday, 30 March

The Risk Workshop by Chris Unwin

Are you a financial adviser who would like all of your clients to have appropriate types and levels of personal protection? But perhaps you feel you need a more structured and client friendly engagement process?