Why don’t your friends and clients send referrals? The answer might be so ridiculous that it is not obvious. Simply, they may be unaware you are accepting new clients. There might be other reasons as well; however, making it clear you are adding new relationships is a good starting point.
Why might people think you are closed to new business?
Why would they think an insurance or financial services professional isn’t always looking for new clients? The answers might surprise you. Here are a few possibilities of some misconceptions your friends and clients may have:
- Prospecting is something newbies do. They think finding new clients is a rite of passage for new people in the profession. It’s like initiation at a college fraternity or sorority. Once you are established, you are done.
- You have all the business you can handle. Are you always telling friends you are busy? You can’t get together for golf on the weekend or go out for drinks because you are working? They may assume you are working at full capacity.
- The firm hands you accounts. Your firm advertises. They have an online presence and storefront offices. Your friends might assume the firm sends you prospects and reassigns client relationships.
How to let clients know you are adding new accounts
The reasons listed above sound preposterous. Obviously, you need to find clients and build your book of business. You might understand that, but clients don’t. After all, you don’t know how business works in their profession either. Try these ideas to raise their awareness:
- Drip marketing. Friends will ask “How’s business?” If you have added a new client in the last few days, let them know. You maintain confidentiality but might explain they were referred by a current client or they are your new neighbor.
- Let your client know that another client sent a referral. This can be another answer to “How’s business?” By letting your client know this happened, it tells them you are open to new business. If another client sent a referral and you accepted them as a client, the same should happen if they sent someone.
- Tell friends about your niche and the type of people you can help. Your friends might not know how you help people. Clients might assume you only work with people needing the same product they bought. The “How’s business?” question also can be answered by interpreting it as, “How have you helped someone avoid making a big mistake?” Imagine a young client needing cash and wanting to withdraw money from a retirement account because they didn’t understand about taxes and penalties. You offered alternatives. Your friend will think about a friend about to make the same mistake. Connecting them with you is doing that friend a favor.
- I help friends. Friends help each other out. If they have a friend who has questions about insurance or general financial matters, you are glad to help them.
- Advertise. You have seen real estate agents who have ads on shopping carts or bus shelter seating. It seems obvious they are open to new business. If it works for them, it should work for you too.
- Have you held a seminar or webinar recently? Tell friends and clients about it. Was it for the public? Were clients and their guests the target audience? Did you speak at a community organization meeting? If you present to people who are not clients, it is clear that you are adding new clients.
- Simply tell them you are accepting new clients. If you need a reason, perhaps some clients moved away, passed away or your office has hired additional staff. You are in growth mode now and interested in adding new relationships.
There are tactful ways to let friends know you are open to new business without scaring them away.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.
For more MDRT member-exclusive ideas on how to get more referrals: