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Beware of Bad Advice from Others

by Bill Cates

Below is an email from a fairly new advisor who went through our training program to generate more introductions and communicate his value more effectively.

You’ll quickly see that while this advisor is doing a lot of things right to become as successful as he can, as quickly as he can, he doesn’t always get the support of his veteran colleagues. What’s up with that?

Since your training, I have incorporated your referral language into all my meetings. Sometimes it’s just a simple “Don’t keep me a secret” and other times it’s the full Monty.

I’m about a year and a half into my career, so I still do a lot of joint meetings.

I’ve noticed a trend with veteran advisors. Not only do they not ask for referrals, but they criticize either the fact that I’m asking for them or just poo poo the whole thing.

Last week and this week I had eighteen virtual appointments per week. I had never gotten past ten a week before your training. Fully half of these were from introductions. My business is way up since I incorporated your system into my process.

“In one meeting, my partner criticized the fact that I hadn’t approached the conversation with a list of possible suspects. Ok, that’s legit. But what I was doing was introducing the idea in order to set up a future meeting dedicated to what we call “the partnership meeting”. Though he criticizes me, this guy has not once proffered the conversation.

In another meeting with a very high production advisor, after our meeting, his slap down was, “Well, I have never asked for referrals, but my clients love me so much that they just give them”.  That’s nice. Must be reassuring.

Anyway, I will continue to do what I am doing BECAUSE IT’S WORKING.

A Few Thoughts from Cates

Some people will tell you, “Never ask clients for referrals or introductions. Just do a great job and they will refer you.”

While we certainly must do a great job connecting with and bringing great value to our clients, there are a few things wrong with that way of thinking (IMHO).

  1. Someone new in their career can’t afford to wait around for clients to put two and two together. They’ll be out of business before they receive enough unsolicited introductions.

  2. It’s in the clients’ best interest for their new advisor/agent to be proactive, so that they stay in business. Otherwise, that client may fall through the cracks and not continually update their planning.

  3. Serving the heck out of your clients (which you should do), will create incremental growth for most advisors/agents. It takes being appropriately proactive to create exponential growth.

  4. Relying only on unsolicited introductions does not always produce the right people coming to you. You may end up taking on wrong-fit clients so as not to upset your referral source, or you have to weed through the wrong-fit to get to the right-fit.

Can you create a successful business never asking for referrals or introductions?
Yes, some advisors/agents have. But they usually spend an unnecessary amount of money on marketing (like for educational events), when committing to referrals and introductions would help them grow both faster and more profitably.

Forward this article to a friend or colleague.

And don’t forget ALL our resources – many of them free – are waiting for you at www.ReferralCoach.com/resources.


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