We all talk a good game.
We get in our heads that we should ask for referrals, study a bit about how to be more successful and then…we do nothing!
Why is that?
Bill Cates works with wholesalers (and advisors) to help them bring value to their advisor-clients through value-added programs – live presentations, collateral material, and coaching.
He is our go-to expert in his field.
Bill is the author of three popular books on referrals: Get More Referrals Now!, Don’t Keep Me a Secret!, and Beyond Referrals: How to Use the Perpetual Revenue System to Turn Referrals into High-Value Clients.
He is the president of Referral Coach International and the founder of The Referral Coach Academy. Bill Cates’ client-acquisition system has been featured in such publications as Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power, the Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal
Book Bill for your next event through Wholesaler Masterminds Speakers Bureau.
3 Strategies for Exponential Growth With Referrals and Personal Introductions
Do you want your business to grow incrementally? Or would you prefer exponential growth? And do you want to have some control over who comes into your business – proactive growth versus reactive growth? Yes, yes, and yes! So here’s what it takes.
Strategy 1 – Engagement
Research has proven that to bring in more new business and generate introductions, we need to go beyond your advisor-client satisfaction and advisor-client loyalty to Client Engagement. From the very beginning of your new relationships you want to make sure you are facilitating your prospects’ and advisor-clients’ sense of engagement with both your value and you as a person. This, by the way, can produce referrals and introductions without even asking for them.
The Prospect Experience
Make sure you have a great initial process that brings great value to your prospects. You can bring great value with a Here-to-There Conversation – helping them get clear on their vision for their business success, the challenges, and the opportunities. Helping your advisor clients gain clarity is a very valuable conversation you can bring to them. Telling them about your Personal Why will help you connect on both key levels – your value and you.
The New Advisor-Client Experience
Provide an onboarding process so your new advisor-client truly feels welcomed into your world – where you roll out the proverbial red carpet to them. The onboarding process should, again, hit both aspects of engagement: value and personal connection.
The Ongoing Advisor-Client Experience
Your Client-Service Promise should drive the continuing relationship. Going into each year, have the year planned out as best you can so you know exactly how you’ll be in touch with your A-Level Advisor-Clients. No winging it allowed! Have a plan. Work the plan.
Strategy 2 – Leverage
If you’ve been following my work for a while, you know that it is leverage that transforms incremental growth that comes from great client service into exponential growth that puts you on the fast track to increasing your success.
You’re probably already familiar with the many methods I teach for promoting introductions, i.e., planning seeds. One of the most effective methods is to teach your advisor-clients how you would proceed should they identify someone who should know about the value you bring. Take the mystery out of your referral/introductions process. Build your conversation for the two main elements of “confidentiality” and “handle with care.”
Asking for Introductions
So many “marketing experts” are saying, “You can’t ask for referrals or introductions. You just have to earn them.” Well… I agree with the second part. You do have to earn them. But once you’ve provided value and the prospect or clients recognizes your value, many of them will be delighted to introduce you to others. But you usually have to ask or you won’t receive. Don’t let these “experts” project their fear onto you and limit what’s possible for you and what I’ve helped thousands of professionals do.
Strategy 3 – Connection
So we have an advisor-client willing to introduce us to one or more people, but you’re not done yet. You have to create a connection to the new prospect or you’ve just wasted everyone’s time.
Collaborate with your advisor-client about the best way to connect you to their colleague. “George, I’m certain that Laura would prefer to hear from you before she hears from me. Let’s see if we can craft an approach that feels comfortable to the both of you and, of course, piques her interest in hearing from me.”
An alternative to the traditional introduction is encouraging your referral source to invite the prospect to either an educational event or a social event. Some of my clients like to combine the two. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some clients are totally comfortable making traditional introductions – like an electronic introduction (email to the two parties). And some clients prefer inviting the prospect to an event where their friend can get a sense of your value and who you are before deciding to schedule a meeting with you. I think it’s best to have both methods in your tool kit so you can capture as many qualified prospects as possible – in the way your clients prefer.
Do you have to be perfect in each of these areas to start getting more and better introductions to high-level advisor-clients?
Of course not. Just get started and keep referring back to this article.
I would enjoy hearing from you. Send an email directly to me at BillCates@ReferralCoach.com
Written by Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE