The ClientWise Blog

Financial Advisors: Benchmark Your Referability Preparedness

Posted by Chris Holman on Jul 3, 2012, 10:59:00 AM

images 2How referable are you?

This is a critical question for financial advisors. ClientWise Research suggests that top-performing financial advisors receive more than 70% of their new clients through referrals from: 1) Existing clients or, 2) Professional referrals from other trusted advisors.

One of the assumptions within the referral process is that the financial advisor and their team have built a practice that is worthy of endorsement, as well as structures to track, monitor, and manage referrals on a continuous basis. To get a better sense of the referability preparedness of your financial advisory business, ClientWise has devised the following Referrability Preparedness Assessment.


Instructions: Answer each of the 11 questions below to determine how true each statement is for your advisory practice. Be honest with yourself. You are the only person who will see this.

5 = Very True

4 = Somewhat True

3 = Not Applicable

2 = Somewhat Untrue

1 = Very Untrue

  • We have a formal on-going information gathering process to determine specific areas of our service offerings that need improvement.
  • We gather specific suggestions and/or constructive comments from our clients on a consistent basis.
  • Our client engagement interface and service model with clients is easy to understand and operate.
  • All clients who refer business to us receive recognition and appreciation on a regular basis.
  • We know, and track, who our referring clients are.
  • Problem solving for our clients is simple and effortless.
  • None of our team members view our clients as “pests” or “problems to get rid of.”
  • No one in our practice undermines positive word-of-mouth and “referability” through indifference or through a bad attitude.
  • We receive the minimum amount of new client referrals that allows us to build our practice according to our growth goals .
  • We have a formal plan to build referrals and new client introductions.
  • We know who is talking about our practice to others.


Your Referrability Preparedness Assessment Score

45-55     Your Referability Preparedness is among the best.

36-44     With a few improvements, your Referability Preparedness will be consistent with other top-performing financial advisory practices.

26-35     Your Referability Preparedness is about average.

18-25     Your business considers receiving new client referrals as secondary to other things.

11-17     Your business is not ready to receive referrals from clients or other professional advisors.


Concluding Thoughts

ClientWise research has revealed that one of the obstacles of financial advisors who do not receive a sufficient amount of quality referrals is the lack of a standardized referral process. We trust that this referrability preparedness assessment will inform you how to: 1) Prepare your practice to receive more referrals, 2) Create your own referral process or, 3) Change and/or improve what you already have.

For a ClientWise Learning Tool on how your practice can build referrals through other professional advisors, please download the complimentary tool below:


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Topics: Client Acquisition, Business Development