Consistent referrals arise directly from having the right conversations with clients, and the right ones include asking the right questions.
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The article "Secrets of Referrals
" by Julie Littlechild
in this month's Financial Planning magazine could be the most important thing you read this year. In it, Littlechild summarizes the conclusions of the study she will publish this month called Anatomy of a Referral.
Her prior study, the Economics of Loyalty
, established that almost all referrals made by clients came from a category she calls "engaged."
This paper digs deeper and uncovers three critical components of engaged client relationships. And they all relate to having the right kinds of conversations with the right clients. One of the keys is obtaining consistent and objective feedback.
Her data include the following observations:
74 % of engaged clients said they had been asked for feedback, while only 45% of the others said this was the case.
61% of engaged clients indicated they felt that being asked for their input was very important or critical.
72% of engaged clients said that the feedback they provided made a real difference.
The message? If you want engaged clients who consistently refer qualified friends and associates, make sure you have an ongoing program of soliciting feedback, including surveys
and advisory boards
, and improve your system and client expectations based on what you learn from that feedback.