Referral acquisition is no longer reliant on word of mouth. Just a handful of years ago, in order to cultivate referrals, you just needed to deliver good products and service, communicate consistently, and give clients an experience to talk with others about. Today, all of that is still true but becomes meaningless if what they say about you does not match what is found online.
If someone verbally says something like, “You have to go see my financial advisor! She helped me figure out how to retire early” – you have only reached the first step. Before making an appointment that person will likely search online for more information, no matter what was said.
Today, 9 out of 10 people will search for you online before coming in to visit with you. Why? Because they can (and should) conduct research and do some due diligence to find out about you and your firm before coming in to share their confidential personal financial information. Think about it – people go online when they are considering a new refrigerator, so of course they will go online for even more important things.
The problem begins if they can’t locate you online or if what they find is not up to date, clearly stated, or does not share the benefits of working with you and your firm. Even worse, what if the information they find out about you online doesn’t come close to matching the perception that they had in their mind of you after being referred? The disconnect between what they heard about you and what they see online could give them reason to pause. That pause can be the reason for not converting hard-earned referrals into appointments and sales.
Go online and take a good look. Ask yourself, does my online presence match who I really am? Is my firm properly represented?