I'm a big believer in asking your clients for referrals. But you can't ask every client for referrals every time you meet with them. Here are seven proven ways to promote referrals to your clients. About 70% of the time, these techniques will result in your clients giving you referrals at some time in the future. However, you can expect that about 30% of the time, these techniques will generate referrals right on the spot. These little adjustments you make now act just like compound interest, turning small deposits into large savings. You'll reap the rewards for years to come.
To show you how practical these techniques are, I'll bring most of them to life with a sample script.
4. "Don't keep me a secret": I've been teaching this simple phrase for over a dozen years, and I've been impressed with two things: how many financial professionals are using this phrase with great success; and how often it results in a referral conversation right on the spot. It never hurts a relationship. When you say to a client, "Please don't keep me a secret," they likely won't respond with, "I can't believe you said that. Give me my check back." Try saying this to your clients at the end of value-oriented meetings. Add it as a P.S. to your handwritten notes. You can even add it to your email signature file and your voice mail. [Editor's Note: "Don't Keep Me a Secret" is the title of Bill Cates' most recent book from McGraw-Hill.]
5. Willingness to give referrals: This is a great technique to get a referral conversation started with anyone who needs referrals for their business. You can use it with your prospects, clients, friends, people you meet at social functions, even neighbors you meet at your kids' soccer games. "Frank, you sound like you do pretty good work for your clients. Tell me, if I ran into a good prospect for your business, how would I know it? And how would you like me to introduce them to you?" When you demonstrate a genuine willingness to give referrals, many people will reciprocate with you. This can be a great start to a productive center of influence relationship.