Stop using a pole to fish for referrals – fish with a net

By Mark Mersman

USA Financial


Time to face the facts: Accountants and attorneys won’t routinely refer clients to you. You can, however, make them.

I’ve consulted with hundreds of advisors about how to get referrals from accountants and attorneys. Guess what? Unless the attorney or accountant is your spouse, your chances aren’t real good. You must flip the script on them.

The main reason you’ll never get referrals from these types of collateral professionals is because they think they are better than you. Sorry. It’s true. I didn’t say they were better, I said they think they are better than you. Not to mention, they don’t want to risk the relationship with their client in case you screw something up. As the old saying goes, it is what it is.

The solution? Create an opportunity in which they don’t have to endorse you. That’s their big fear.

It’s called a retiree symposium. It’s not a seminar. It’s an event that you host that is specifically geared as a non-commercial public service event for retirees. The mechanics are simple:

1. Find a venue

2. Coordinate with other professionals who work with retirees: attorneys, accountants, travel people, health and Medicare professionals, PC professionals, geriatric home folks, home health care agencies, etc.

3. Market the event through their clients and a direct mail effort, along with press releases and newspaper advertising. You can use other forms of media as well, if you wish.

4. Reap the rewards

Yes, I simplified it. The beauty of this is that it won’t cost you near what a seminar will (no food and you get to share in the costs with the other collateral professionals). It is a requirement that the participants email and mail their database stating that they are a speaker at an upcoming retiree symposium.

The last event like this I helped with had more than 190 people in attendance and cost the advisor a net of $450. You can afford it. In fact, can you afford not to?