The ClientWise Blog

An Untapped Source for Financial Advisor Referrals

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Feb 28, 2012 12:15:00 PM

 

For top-performing financial advisors, introductions from centers of influence and other professionals are a key to client acquisition success.  And client acquisition and net new assets are key identifiers to a wealth advisor’s growing business.  In fact, our research suggests that the most effective financial advisors find more than 70% of their new assets come from two sources: referrals from clients, and introductions from other professionals.  In the ClientWise customized coaching for financial advisors, we find this to be true as well.

However, in our view these prime sources for financial advisor referrals, especially from other professionals, are misunderstood, misused, and…untapped.

Having trained and coached top performing financial advisors in this area for more than nine years, here is what I’ve observed.

Most financial advisors have experienced mixed results when it comes to working with other centers of influence and other professionals.  Many have become discouraged and given up entirely.We have observed that most financial advisors have made ineffective attempts to partner with these other professionals, have focused on working only with CPAs and attorneys and typically start and stop the approach, rather than maintain consistency in building a true partnership for the benefit of others.  Since many of these referral outreaches have been weak and poorly-conceived, other professionals have become somewhat hardened towards working with financial advisors and see the approach as just another “solicitation.”

Before jumping into this topic much further, here are a few observations that help set the stage:

  • In order for today’s financial advisor to be truly successful in building a network of other professionals with whom to partner, she or he must…and I mean must understand that the primary reason to partner with another professionals is not to simply build a referral pipeline.  Instead, the primary reason is to build a network so that today’s financial advisor can deliver the promises of wealth management.  There is no way today’s financial advisor is going to be all things related to wealth management for every client.  (i.e. banker, financial planner, primary insurance provider, asset manager, business valuation specialist, business broker, corporate real estate developer, etc.) 
  • In today’s competitive landscape, financial advisors need to have a group of other professionals who recognize the value that they create for the benefit of clients. 
  • The financial advisor should recognize the value that the other professionals create for the benefit of their clients and be able to articulate that value.
  • The very best wealth advisory businesses make a habit of partnering with both clients and other professionals in order to serve the client in the most complete wealth management way possible.
  • Most clients enjoy and value the idea of their network of trusted advisors partnering and communicating with each other for their own benefit.
  • First and foremost, this type of network is grounded in client service. To receive introductions from other professions and to be a provider of introductions to another, the financial advisor must care deeply about their own clients, as well as the professional advisor network that they create.

For those financial advisors who partner with other professionals to create a wide-ranging wealth management network for the mutual benefit of their clients, introductions between professionals become a powerful byproduct of the network… rather than the main objective.

That’s all for now. This entire topic, of building professional advisor networks, cannot be addressed in one blog post. We plan on coming back to this subject again in the near future.

As they say…watch this space!

 

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Client Acquisition, Business Development, Client Engagement