Getting past referral roadblocks
By Katherine Vessenes
One common problem with getting referrals into your office is that your client is more than happy to provide an introduction to you, but the referral is too busy for a meeting. You may have tried many times to connect, but your client can’t seem to get the referral on board. There always seems to be a roadblock.
Here is how we approach this problem. First, we look carefully at the clients and the referrals. What do these prospects really enjoy doing? Is it baseball? Opera? Gourmet dinners? Notice I did not say what do I enjoy. This is all about the client and creating a great, memorable experience for them — something that other advisors are not doing for them.
Once I identified a fun activity that would appeal to both the client and the prospect, I would call the client and give them this speech: "Say Jim, I know how much you enjoy baseball. Well, I got six tickets for the big game on (date). I thought this would be a good time for us to have a fun evening and for me to finally meet Suzy in a non-threatening environment. What do you think? Can you guys come?"
If they are busy, find out a day they are free and plan another event.
The key thing here is pull, not push, marketing. The night of the big event, you probably don't even mention getting together unless the prospect brings it up. In fact, if they do bring up their finances, or ask you about your top investment picks, I would tell them that you would be happy to answer their questions, but maybe it would be better in a confidential environment. How about gettiing together next week?
Once you know the referrals personally, you can either add them to your drip list, send them your e-zine, or invite them to seminars or other events you are doing.
Or, you could call them directly in a week or so and say you enjoyed meeting them and would like to get together again, to get to know them better and see if there is a fit for what you do. This obviously depends on the prospect and the level of response you are getting from them.