Client referrals play an important role in supporting a thriving financial advice business, but they often don’t materialise. Putting time into developing a successful referral script can strengthen your whole approach to word-of-mouth marketing. An effective script should include four key elements:
By scripting each part of the referral conversation, your team will know exactly what to say and are likely to feel more comfortable about bringing up this topic. If nothing else, developing your own ideas for a referral script will quickly highlight if any of these elements are not yet clearly articulated for your business.
Successful client referral programs rely on you knowing who your ideal client is and why they should choose you over the competition. So there is an element of understanding why a future client can benefit from your financial advice service and communicating this to current clients as part of your referral script.
Where a referral approach can often fall down is in addressing when and how it may be best to make a referral. Putting the idea in their mind may not be enough to help them take action.
Here are two ideas to help you get clear on what this part of your referral script might look like:
It might not be obvious to a client how to raise the subject of a financial advice referral with a friend or family member. Sharing examples of situations (or trigger events) where it’s useful to suggest seeing a financial adviser is a key step in supporting the referral process. Your client may not know all the different ways your expertise can apply.
Rather than overwhelm your client with too many examples, focusing in on your client’s own lifestage - or the lifestage of your ideal client - could help you be more specific:
|Early life||Buying a car or home, getting married, starting a family, a career change|
|Mid life||Family insurance and healthcare, children’s education, buying an investment property, becoming a carer for elderly parents|
|Pre-retirement||Paying down the mortgage, helping children buy property, scaling down work or business, planning for retirement|
|Retirement||Downsizing, children getting married, becoming grandparents, estate planning, aged care|
It could also be useful to get into the habit of asking the question, “Do you know anyone else I can help with X?”. Making this key question part of your script may at least get clients thinking about the people they know who are in similar situations.
Guiding clients to treat referrals as a team effort, led by you, is perhaps the most important way to strengthen the referral process and secure a good outcome. When clients don’t understand how to make a referral happen, this can really hold them back from introducing the idea in conversation.
Here are three steps to explaining how a client can refer you:
Once your referral script has become second nature for you and your team to use in client conversations, you will hopefully notice a steady uptick in new prospects . But without the capacity to deliver a high quality service to new clients, your efforts to grow your business will be wasted.
To make sure you’re being realistic about the amount of new business you’re taking on, remember the rule of 168. This is the number of hours in a week and not all of these can be spent working. Keep this in mind when assessing how much time you actually have to service new leads.
One way to build your capacity without growing your headcount is to get technology to do the work for you, and your clients too. Here are three examples of technologies to explore to enhance your capacity and efficiency: