Choosing a financial practice or switching from one financial practice to another is a big decision and strategic change that takes a long time for a client to come to terms with making. When clients consider course changes involving the security of their money, they must be one hundred percent confident that they are making the right moves.
Even if you strive every day to run your practice like a well-oiled machine and care for your clients and their financial futures implicitly, you still may need to be doing more. Going the extra mile in this business is sometimes going to be what makes or breaks your referral game. It is essential for there to be something special about the service standard you provide that makes your clients always think of recommending you when they have the opportunity to do so. They must have deep trust within you as an advisor and your firm as a whole before they will feel comfortable referring to any personal connections to you. They need to know with 100% certainty that you will care for those individuals (and their financial information and planning) before they will be willing to send those they care for your way.
The process of building that foundation of trust, confidence and exceptional client care is not a quick one. It’s one that takes dedication and a genuine commitment to your clients, but it also makes you a better advisor all-around. When you decide you’re ready, here are five ways to ramp up your referral game:
Tell Your Story
Connection is unequivocally the basis of every strong client relationship. Clients or prospects that agree to meet with you do so fully understanding what you do for a living and the services you are hoping to provide for them. The question that the customer will then have on his or her mind is “Why should I work with you?”
They want to know what sets you apart from every other advisor hoping to provide them with similar services. Every entrepreneur has a story and a journey to share, and your history is one thing that the next financial practice or advisor doesn’t have. People love hearing stories of how advisors and companies came to join forces to serve clients more thoroughly. Your story is how potential leads would be able to identify your business, and how it is set apart from competitors.
Once you feel comfortable in sharing your story with prospects, consider the opportunity presented by incorporating it into your brand as a whole. Connect with your community and don’t be shy. Your community wants to know you, your practice and your purpose, and whom better to tell them than yourself? Sometimes, the word ‘marketing’ makes advisors feel that everything must be general, perfectly branded, and applicable to everyone, but sometimes genuinely connecting with other members of your community and prospective clients comes a lot more naturally once you just get back to the basics.
Prove You Have A Plan for Them
You may be the nicest advisor that’s ever lived; however, if you don’t have a proven, time-tested method of caring for your client’s financial futures, referrals are going to be much harder to come by. In a business sense, credibility is proof of expertise, which means that you understand what your audience needs, can think of the best course of action for them and communicate that clearly.
With credibility, potential leads can see that you care about your clients, you know what you are doing, and you have what they need, the rest will fall into place.
Offer Real, Transparent Information
It might be in your current strategic plan to issue a call to action that entices readers or website visitors to call a number or visit a website for a cost-free consultation. While this is a primary lead generation strategy, it’s certainly not the only avenue to be utilizing. There are many more innovative and inexpensive ways to get visitors to take real action and lead to higher conversion rates.
The value of your content will enable you to generate leads. Advisors that give more will have a moderate advantage over the advisors that offer less if any at all. Plans, details, fees, honesty, transparency, these all may not be physical freebies that customers will be looking forward to, but are all things that they expect, and are eager to find out about sooner than later. The financial industry isn’t something that your clients are looking to get into professionally, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to understand it more completely.
Show The Unique Perspectives That Your Practice Can Provide
Your practice is a culmination of decades of experiences and perspectives of the many financial advisors that practice there. It is crucial that financial practices are aware of and embracing the years of knowledge at their fingertips. You are working together to serve clients more completely and letting them know how each advisor fits into that picture, whether it is in specialization, education or years in the field. Each client who comes to your practice has a background and situation just as unique as the advisor they are sitting in front of, let them know the kind of value and different perspectives that your team brings to the table.
If you generalize and talk about how ‘great’ every advisor is at every aspect of financial planning and investing, it can be doing a disservice not only to your advisors in their diverse strengths and backgrounds but also to your clients. Your clients want to resonate more deeply and fit more perfectly with the advisor they choose to help build their financial future, and it’s only more assuring to know they have the supportive wealth of knowledge of their colleagues in addition.
Don’t Give Up on Potential Leads
Reaching out to leads is not a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. If you don’t hear back from specific recipients, we don’t recommend giving up on them unless they ask you to. Life gets busy, and sometimes it’s just not the right time yet for someone to become a client, but that doesn’t mean it never will be. Stay in touch with them, offer them information in the form of email marketing campaigns, written website content, and provide an easy way to set an appointment with you when they are ready, and the meetings will come.
Lead generation and nurturing potential clients for your practice is a marathon, not a sprint. You want to be there for your clients both current and potential, without feeling ‘pushy’ or irritating. While these lines are different for everyone, nurturing potential clients is the best time to show them exactly how you can meet them where they are in life now, while also helping them keep an eye on their future on the horizon.
This list may sound like a lot to handle on your own – and that’s because it is. If you need a supportive foundational structure behind yourself and your practice so you can get out of marketing and back into being an effective advisor for your clients, consider setting up a call with us. With done-for-you offerings and back office setups ready to be put in place for you, joining Signature Wealth lets advisors get back to being advisors while ensuring your practice will thrive for generations to come.
*Opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.