Referrals, referrals and more referrals
Retirement Income Network
Over the last seven years of consulting with financial advisers and insurance agents, I know that referrals are the backbone of almost every practice out there. We all need to market ourselves and I am a firm believer in having multi-channels of marketing (e.g., radio, seminars, digital marketing, blogging, email campaigns, direct mail, telemarketing, etc.).
We’ve all heard the age old adage that you’ve got to spend money to make money, and it is as true in this business as any other. That being said, once you’ve spent the money, you want to make sure you get a return on your investment.
The secret to an exponential return on your marketing investment is referrals.
One of my top advisers can do just one lead campaign a year. This one campaign will blossom into over $8 million in annual annuity sales. He told me the secret to how he gets so many referrals, and I am going to share it with you right now. I even have the script that backs up this system.
We are all looking for that silver bullet that will take our business to the next level. This is that silver bullet. I want to warn you, that the rest of this blog is not fluff of any sort. I am going to tell you exactly how to triple your business or more in the coming months. You will think this is too easy, but it’s not. Just try it.
Before I get into the finer details of how this system works, I want you to think about the last big thing you purchased — maybe it was a car or an iPad2. When you first bought it, did you tell anybody about it? Of course you did. When I bought my new car last year, I literally drove up to a buddy’s house who lives 15 miles away just to show it to him. Sure, I was bragging a little bit, but I wanted to share my purchase with the world because I was so proud of it.
Remember, your clients feel the same way. They want to brag to their friends about what they bought and then if they can get their friends a deal on it, they feel even more powerful.
You must establish a value that your current client can offer your referral.
This needed to be established a few times in your sales process, and can be anything. For example, maybe you charge a fee for a financial plan for your client regardless of if they end of doing business with you or not. An average financial plan might cost $2500.
On your first meeting with each of your clients, regardless of how you got the lead, bring out a sheet a paper with your compay’s header on the top. Maybe this sheet of paper is a fact finder of some sort. At the top it should show the fee for the financial plan. You will then literally cross out the fee and explain why it has been waived.
You might say something like this: “This x dollar fee has been waived because you were referred to me by Mr. Smith."
Now your new client immediately feels like they have gained value from you and, more importantly, from the person who referred them.
When you make the delivery to your current client you reiterate all the things that you just did for this client.
For example, “Mr. Smith, before you met me you thought your financial house was in order. After our meetings, you now save x dollars a year on taxes, your money is no longer at risk of market declines, etc. I am sure that you know like-minded people that would be interested in improving their situation as well. I’d like to think you would call those people for me and set an appointment for me to meet with them. Because you are referring them, I will waive my x dollar fee that I normally charge on my first meeting, just as I did for you. I am available for appointments next week on these days. I will call you on Friday to see how many appointments you have set for me.”
This is all you do. Then you call them on Friday to see how many appointments they have set for you.
You asked for a silver bullet for your business. Now you have one. I guarantee you will write more business if you do this.
Now I know nine out of 10 of the advisers who are reading this blog will not make this tweak to improve referrals. They will go back to the grind they are currently in. They will spend the next few hours on the Internet searching for a lead program that they think will be different then the last one they purchased.
For that one out of every 10 who is still coachable, you’re welcome. You are about to have your best year ever.
Remember the adviser I told you about at the beginning of the article? The guy who does $8 million a year in new annuity production after paying for only one lead campaign? He once mentioned to me that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. I believe he was actually paraphrasing the thinktank himself, Albert Einstein, but I’ll give the adviser credit for it for the moment. Make a positive change in your business.
Have a great rest of the year.