Throughout my coaching, I often work with clients who have a team of financial planners. Within that team, you will have those that get a massive amount of referrals while others get next to none. What is the difference between them? Are you doing enough with referral partners?

Back when I was an adviser, I worked in a large bank, and we had branches that provided us with referrals – which was great – however, if you didn’t stop to speak to or train these referral partners, you would often get a whole lot of referrals that didn’t go anywhere. Sound familiar?

I would often hear planners complaining about the quality of referrals, and it went the opposite way too – branch staff would be complaining about them being ungrateful for the great referrals they gave. So whose fault is it in this situation? Perhaps it is no one’s fault, but as an adviser who benefits from referred business, I would challenge you that it is your responsibility.

Explain what your ideal client looks like

As an adviser, it is crucial to spend time with your referral partners to help them understand exactly who your ideal client is. Not just the type of client, but also what those clients look like.

From personal experience, I always found a visual cue would help here, for example, it could be men in boots, mums with babies, professionals in suits, etc. This way when someone walked into a branch my referrer could immediately identify whether that was a good referral for me or someone else. If it wasn’t a visual cue it might be something the client says, or it might be something we see on the computer screen….

Share what other triggers make a good referral

Once I gave my referral partners a visual, I also trained them on other triggers they might see, hear or notice. For me, these triggers included life events like getting married, planning a family, moving to a new home, redundancies, retirement planning or applying for a mortgage.

Provide a list of qualifying questions

Once they have identified an ideal client by look or trigger, then provide them with a few questions to ask to help clarify the referral better. By explaining the “why” behind each question, you will help them feel more confident in asking the question and better understand the answers they receive.

Discuss how you overcome objections

Objections are inevitable, but with a little training around the common objections your hear and how to overcome them, your referral partners will be able to preempt or address objections on your behalf – before you have even spoken to a referral.

Give feedback to your referral partners

Finally, give them feedback on anyone they refer. Let your referral partner know how you went and what happened with the referral they gave. Also, use this touch point as a way to thank them once again. A thank you goes a long way!

When was the last time you trained and developed your referral partners to become your extended sales team? When was the last time you thanked them for their continued support and gave them feedback? There’s no time like the present! Reach out now and connect with them.

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