How to get referrals without asking

One of the many challenges of being a financial advisor is getting referred leads. More often than not, we get nothing if we ask for names point-blank. So, how do we ask for referrals in a subtle way and get positive results?

Here are a couple of ideas you can use, regardless of your specialization, so you don’t have to deal with the usual awkwardness of waiting for names and contact details.

Whatever your niche market is, whoever the people are in your target market, know that people like to be lifted up.

Try this dialogue with your client after you’ve closed business or finished a review:

“My business grows based on referrals. You may know people who will benefit from the type of program we helped you start. And, if so, I invite you to tell them about me and what I do. However, just like when you were in search of a professional to assist you, I also consider qualifications before I start working with a potential client.

“No. 1, just like you, they have to have dreams, goals in life. Their goals might be many and disorganized. My role is to help them prioritize and know which are best to start with. Or, if they want to start planning for all of their goals, find a feasible strategy to do exactly that.

“No. 2, just like you, they have to be responsible. I can’t be here for you forever, so you have to be disciplined to follow through with your plans. Remember, your commitment is not toward me or the policy you acquired or even the company. Your commitment is to your future self and to your family.”

Be ready because, more often than not, your client will already have a name or even several names in mind to share with you. Now you have some qualified leads. Time to start calling.

Janet Ng, of Metro Manila, Philippines, has been an MDRT member since 2010. This blog post was based on her 2021 MDRT Annual Meeting Virtual Event presentation. You can see more from her in the video “Life-changing advice.” 

  • Kate Elder says:

    (29 years experience talking here)

    Awful, awful advice. This is the same garbage I was fed 29 years ago. If you want to come across as a commission hungry, cheap salesperson, then use the lines above.

    You don’t get referrals by asking for them. You get referrals by being referrable.

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