Financial Planning & Wealth Management Strategies: Earnings Referrals

by royalarse13

Client referrals are a great way to build a strong investment business. Unfortunately, a roster full of satisfied clients does not directly prompt them to boast about your services to family and friends.  A simple solution is to be more proactive by readily asking for referrals following every successful client meeting.  It’s critical to be open about your desire for referrals and always ask for business, but there is a more nuanced approach to growing your business through client-generated leads.

 “Women who are loyal to their financial advisors refer twice as much as men.

Advisors would be wise to shape their conduct with couples and female clients around this remarkable yet unsurprising fact.  Women are generally more social and likely to share information that men may view as personal or private; financial matters inclusive.  Acknowledging this social dynamics’ impact on who is apt to refer, and why, may remedy the problem of a lack of referrals.

Characterizing an advisor as fit-to-recommend doesn’t fully explain why some are more successful than others at earning referrals.  In addition to being proactive, advisors who frequently generate referrals connect with their female client base more effectively by utilizing a remarkably obvious, yet forward-thinking approach to managing money: establish rapport equally with every client.  They build financial literacy, comfort and trust across the board, but with women especially, through a combination of sound advice, basic and complex tools, and great interpersonal skills.

 Comfort & Trust = Rapport

Are satisfied clients more apt to describe their advisors as trustworthy and caring, or bright and diligent?  While all are desirable traits, clients are more likely to speak of their experience with advisors from an emotional base.  Thus for advisors connecting emotionally – a strength of women relative to men — can be more important than delivering a whip-smart presentation on a great investment opportunity. The decision-making process is determined more by rapport than recommendation, same goes for earning a referral.

Given that 90% of women report feeling insecure when it came to personal finance, and 48% of women agree with the statement, “Investing is scary for me”, there are enormous opportunities.  To fill this gap advisors need to integrate sound financial advice into a dedicated process, communicated with the aid of high- and low-tech tools.  The process must be sensitive to who clients are and the purpose of their meeting, nevertheless it’s beneficial to adhere to routine in conjunction with the following three core principals described by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury (expert on giving financial advice to woman full article here).

  •  Analyze 

“Your job is to find out where your client’s deficits lie and to develop a plan for building these areas.”

  •  Build     

“Financial intelligence is the sum of your financial literacy, money skills, and the ability to understand what you think and feel about money and wealth.”

  • Coach

“Be as creative and collaborative as possible during the building phase, often clients have wonderful ideas on addressing their problems”

Benefits:

Using these core objectives to guide the advice experience will boost clients’ financial esteem through more vigorous participation.  Use props (many banks have Life Cards) to provide a helpful visual anchor for clients when more complex planning concepts are explored.  They expand the dialogue as engagement levels rise for couples, men and women alike.  Remember, the means of extracting information from clients — your process, language, and rapport – is enormously impactful on their satisfaction level and the likelihood of being referred.  Rather than drawing dry questions form a rout list to understand your clients be creative and collaborative.

Follow-Up

Being proactive and smart about your process from start to finish will boost productivity and yield strong long term results.  When following up, divide your time equally between both spouses; but insist on speaking with Mrs. Smith to remind her you’d be honoured to assist their friends and family with their investments.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Does this imply that female advisors are more successful at obtaining referrals?
  2. How should this impact the composition an advisory team if true?
  3. Would the dynamics matter to a newer business looking to grow more so than to a mature business?
  4. What does that say about potential Planning/Advisor partnerships in general?
    1.  Is there a meaningful difference between teams partnerships?
      1.  male-male vs. male-female vs. female-female
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