We’ve heard over and over again that asking for referrals is the most direct way of letting clients know that you want them. However, many find it hard to actually ask for referrals. This reluctance makes asking for referrals anything but easy – and for good reason.
Asking for referrals may imply that you are in a negative position and need more business; or that you are trying to grow a large (and not personal) firm. Moreover, when aggressively asking for referrals, it can be all about you, your business, and your sales – not the other person. In fact, asking for referrals may not be a natural extension of the relationship you’ve developed with the client. That’s why we sometimes “forget” to ask even when we’ve been told that asking could help us increase referrals.
In the financial services industry, some of the top producers receive 100 or more referrals each year without direct solicitation. How do they do it? They say it’s the relationship they have with their clients. How would you rate your client relationships?
A periodic proactive call, review meeting or handwritten note can change the way a client feels about you and your organization. It may sound simple, but consistent unexpected acts may give clients just what they need to comfortably, and without prompting, tell others about you.