A key challenge within the financial services, will writing or Estate planning world is to generate a steady stream of clients and referrals. Many underestimate the power of a referral and what it can do for a business.
Referrals are largely made by a client if they receive great customer service. If you provide a great customer experience, word of mouth referrals are bound to happen naturally. However, a conscious effort to cultivate them will result in higher ROI from your network.
Here's why concentrating on generating referrals is so effective:
Look at how you can tap into your potential referrer’s and their network of contacts. For example;
If you have a client who needs to establish a trust, then contact needs to be made and established with the trustees - potential future clients!
If you are helping a client make a Will, then potential referrals could be made to the beneficiaries, the witness or the executors.
When supplying a service to a client, consider the wider network of opportunity and how you can tap into that!
Referral prospects are beneficial and should be easier to convert as they are coming in warmer since they know and trust the referrer. They have already been introduced to you/your business and had it verified by an external source (the referee). The referrer is providing a vote of confidence by making the recommendation, which is a powerful confirmation.
People trust referrals, look at Trip Advisor for example, a platform based on feedback and reviews, which buyers use to make a conscious decision on. 66% of people trust online consumer opinions – from strangers!
Then if you take that to the next level of a trusted referral from a known source, Nielsen research found that customers trust a referral more than any other source, with a large majority of global respondents, 83%, say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family.
How referral marketing works:
- You identify key individuals in your sphere of influence (existing customers, business contacts, friends, etc.).
- You cultivate and invest in those relationships, delivering an enhanced service whenever you can.
- You make the request
How to get referrals without asking for them
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to propel referrals for your company. However, it's largely dependent on loyalty, which means that this is something you really have to earn.
If you want to get your clients (or potential clients) raving about your service, you have to delight them.
Go above and beyond for your customers not just by achieving goals with them, but by sharing their content on social media, citing them in your blog content, and proving to be an indispensable resource for them. Then, the case will be made for you why they should tell their network about the great work you do.
Keep existing customers engaged.
You should be continually providing high points throughout the customer experience (and even well after if you provide one-time services or purchasing experiences).
That means that you should continue investing in each relationship you make in your business, providing ways to keep clients engaged with your brand so that you continue to remain top of mind.
This can be done by:
- Staying in touch post-sale and nurturing the relationship into a long-term connection. Follow-up and ask for feedback – then act on that feedback!
- Continuing to provide value, whether it's through additional offerings, helpful and informative content, or semi-frequent check-ins.
- Providing an ongoing insight, support and advice
Staying top of mind ensures that customers are always thinking about you. Remain in touch with clients, whether that’s directly, via email or your social media channels, constantly show your knowledge and expertise to showcase your value to the client.
The old adage of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is true!!
Act on positive feedback.
In order to accumulate more referrals, you have to prove yourself as referral-worthy.
To ensure that you're meeting (and exceeding) the needs and expectations of your existing customers, it's important that you're regularly collecting and acting on their feedback.
Identify your advocates, promoters, and most loyal supporters.
The first step to asking for a client referral is to identify those most likely to have something to say — your advocates, promoters, and most loyal supporters. Delighted clients know exactly why they’re satisfied, so they’ll likely know other people with the same needs who will benefit from what you have to offer. And, as mentioned before, happy clients are more likely to talk about you.
Personalise the request.
When you ask for a referral, personalize the request to the client by explaining why you’re seeking it specifically from them. This tip closely aligns with the advice to get specific with your ask, as it lets the customer know that you’re reaching out to them specifically.
The value of your client
As part of your referral activity its worth spending some time identifying those key clients and evaluating their value to their business, not just directly but in regards to what they can potentially refer and that value.
Spending money on marketing can provide instant results, spending time on generating referrals when you have limited budgets can be invaluable.
Research shows that consumers referred by a friend are 4 times more likely to make that purchase, with a 37% higher retention rate – so you need to spend less money keeping that client!
So next steps
Evaluate your client base, draw up a list of your loyal clients and devise a plan of how to generate and cultivate a list of referrals and then decide how you can turn them into value clients!
Remember what an Estate Planning referral could be worth!
- If you received a referral for an LPA it could earn you £250.00 per LPA (usually 2 LPA’s per person, 4 per couple),
- A lifetime trust referral could be worth £1000-£1200+
- A probate case referral could equate to £2k+
- And a Mirror Will and Will Trust referral £500+
Plus you could earn a combination of the above from just ONE client!