If you know your market, you can keep generating referrals no matter how treacherous the market gets, advisor services firm SEI says.
The secret to scoring referrals is knowing how your current clients think and what they value in your practice, SEI's practice management chief John Anderson explains.
That means tailoring the referral pitch to the client, and being specific about both what you can do and who you're looking for as prospects.
No more vague "if you have any friends..." calls to action here. Instead, SEI suggests summing up your proposition -- what it is you actually do -- and describing the type of person who would benefit from your services.
The tricky part is knowing when to ask for a referral, but even that's fairly intuitive.
Some advisors wait until the client review to ask about potential new clients. In its more extended white paper on the subject, SEI says some of the most successful book-builders out there treat this as a separate conversation.
And to keep tabs on exactly what you've done for each client and how you can remind them of it, some sort of client relationship management (CRM) software is essential.
This is actually where LinkedIn can shine as a CRM platform as well as a communications tool, SEI says. After all, LinkedIn can create that list of everyone who has a professional connection to your clients.
Drill down into that list and find out who each of your clients actually has access to, then fine-tune your requests for referrals accordingly.
Finally, just be persistent. You need to keep "dripping" referral pitches on your clients whether they can suggest anyone right now or not -- the goal is to make sure that when they meet someone who would be a good fit, your name comes up first.