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The way you word things makes all the difference. Instead of blatantly asking your clients to refer you to their friends and family members, offer to help your client’s loved ones as a thank you for their business and trust. Referrals should happen organically, and offering your services as opposed to asking for recommendations is one way to achieve this natural transition. This is especially effective if you are looking to tap into the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history.1


According to BCD Coaching, more than $30 trillion is expected to be handed down from one generation to the next.1 Children are likely to follow in their parent’s footsteps and trust their opinions. Communicating with your clients’ children while they are beginning to accumulate wealth in their 20s and 30s is not only a great opportunity to build organic and genuine relationships, but it is also a strategy to retain clients, generate more business, and teach good money management skills.


Self-Reflection is Key


Think back to the last time you referred a business to someone. Was it because they asked you to, or was it because their services exceeded your expectations? When it comes to referrals, if you aren’t getting any, it’s not because you aren’t asking. This is a good time to self-reflect and ask yourself, “Am I referable? What should I be doing differently?”


Analyze Your Brand


When it comes down to it, your clients work with you because of you, not because of your list of services. But, it’s also important to represent yourself in a qualified manner online to help establish your credibility. When someone searches your firm on an internet search engine, do you have an aesthetically-pleasing professional website that articulates exactly who you are, who you work with, and what you do? Does your brand successfully and clearly tell your story?


According to Dan Allison of Feedback Marketing Group, some of the reasons why clients do not refer prospects include the following:2


  • They don’t know who their advisor wants to help.
  • They can’t explain what their advisor actually does.

Your message and core values should be consistent online (and in print) so clients can easily recognize who you seek to work with and why you do what you do.


Why Clients Refer Advisors


Data shows, on average, referrals have declined over the last decade and currently represent about two percent of overall AUM growth each year.2 Further examination determined that the reason for this was:


  • The risk of referring friends
  • The overall lack of differentiation between advisors.

Additional research conducted by Julie Littlechild, President of Absolute Engagement, found that when clients do refer, 56% say it’s because a friend had a financial challenge and they wanted to provide a solution.3 In fact, only 13% of clients said they suggested their advisor to their friends and family because their advisor asked for referrals. Thus, asking for recommendations does not appear to have a considerable influence on referral activity.


At Quantum, we focus on helping our financial advisor partners build a unique brand that differentiates them, and keeps them top-of-mind so that when a client’s friend or family member has a need, they are the first ones to be called.


Become Referable


Clients that typically refer business are clients who were greatly impacted by their entire experience with you as their advisor. Begin by analyzing the clients who have previously referred you to someone. What impact did you have that made them trust you with not only their own finances, but their close friends and family members? How can you duplicate this type of experience with all of your clients?


Put yourself in your client’s shoes for a moment and consider the risk involved. It is much riskier to recommend your children or parents an individual to help manage their hard-earned assets than it is to recommend a restaurant. This risk alone can stop people from referring. But, with that said, almost all clients say they would refer if they think their advisor could help a friend or family member. This is one of the reasons why is it extremely critical to focus on creating positive experiences with each and every one of your clients.


Give, Don’t Ask


An effective strategy to receive referrals by way of giving is to simply offer your expertise as a sounding board to your clients’ loved ones. As part of the Quantum partnership, we provide access to a multitude of resources, including expert referral letters and additional collateral that may help you generate more business through recommendations.


For more information, tune in to our Quantum original podcast Becoming Referable hosted by Scott Drake, Director of Client Acquisition. CLICK HERE



Contact our office today by calling 800.440.1088 to learn more about how we can help.












This article is for informational and educational purposes and is not designed, nor intended, to be applicable to any person’s individual circumstances. It should not be considered as investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation that anyone engage in (or refrain from) a particular course of action. The Quantum Group, and its affiliates, have a financial interest in the sale of their products.


The Quantum Group USA, LLC. In CA. d/b/a Quantum Distribution & Insurance Services.