How to get more client referrals

4 mins readLast updated January 20, 2023by Kate Morgan

Although it might initially seem daunting, there are numerous effective ways to get more referrals for your financial advice business. If you provide excellent service and your clients are happy with you, there’s nobody better placed to spread the word. And if you ask correctly and incentivize recommendations? The sky’s the limit.

What are client referrals?

Even if your financial advice business is relatively young and your current clients are satisfied with your services, you can’t stop there.

In this way, you gain a new customer with a built-in level of trust, and you’re not required to put in as much legwork or marketing effort to make it happen. 

In the US, people are 400 per cent more likely to choose your company’s services when a friend recommends them.

So, client referrals are a must in the world of financial advice.

Learn how to get more referrals and you’ll also learn how to grow your business steadily and effectively.

What are the benefits of client referrals?

If you’re looking into how to generate more referrals, you also need to understand the benefits of referrals.

As mentioned above, a recommendation from a trusted loved one holds much weight for the average US citizen as they contemplate their financial advice options.  

The lifetime value of a customer referred to you is reportedly 16 per cent higher than that of a customer who isn’t.

So, benefit number one is lead quality. If a client thinks your services suit a friend’s requirements, they’ll refer you, and you’ll have the opportunity to work with someone you’re likely to be able to help effectively.

This will then increase the likelihood of a positive client experience.

Other benefits include: 

  • Increased brand awarenessEvery recommendation a client makes is a chance for your business to become better known. Even if a referral doesn’t generate results immediately, it will add to awareness and potentially become a lead later down the line. 

  • A strong ROI for any referral schemesIf you implement a referral scheme (more on this to come), it may cost your business a small amount in the short term. Still, the generation of new leads is likely to outweigh this cost and provide a strong return on your investment, with the price per lead decreasing as time goes on. 

  • A cycle of referrals92 per cent of Americans trust referrals from people they know. If customers are consistently pleased with your services, you’ll only generate more referrals over time. Simultaneously, customer trust in your business will grow.  

If you’d love to generate more client interest but are concerned about the time demands of searching for and managing new leads, UnbiasedPro can save you precious time each month, helping to connect you to the right clients with minimal stress and fuss. 

How to get more client referrals

1. Adopt a customer-first mindset 

When you put the client first, you improve your business’s reputation and make your services memorable (or, in other words, worth recommending).

Many poor financial advisors focus solely on growing and increasing their profits, forgetting that the help they provide to their clients should always be front and center.

Consider customer-first efforts as much as you can, looking into possible discounts for referrals or positive feedback.

Stay friendly, approachable and compassionate.  

On the other hand, remember not to be too heavy-handed or sales-focused in your tactics.

There’s a right and a wrong way to incentivize reviews and referrals, and good service has to be as evident and available as any perks you provide.  

2. Overdeliver where possible, keep all promises 

Customers seeking financial advice expect competent service and fair treatment.

These are the standards, and every advisor should adhere to them. But these standards alone aren’t referral-worthy.

Clients will be impressed if you deliver more than you promised, setting achievable goals and delivering wins wherever possible.  

You become an advisor worth writing home about when you go above and beyond to meet needs.

Just make sure you’re not promising so little in the first place that you won’t attract clients to surprise and excite at a later date. 

3. Show initiative and engage in open conversation 

Only 10.7 per cent of financial advisors directly ask for referrals. If you can do it right, taking that proactive step might set you apart.

You don’t want to seem pushy, but you do want to maximize your professional potential.  

The best way to start that conversation might be to check in and ask whether your client is happy with your services.

If their answer is positive, you have a good starting point from which to ask for a referral.

If they have suggestions for improvements, you can gather valuable feedback and take action to fix issues and strengthen the client-advisor bond (which could also, in time, lead to a good point from which to ask for a referral). 

4. Implement referral schemes or incentive programs  

Customers are more likely to give positive referrals if engaged and rewarded throughout the working relationship.

Gifts, competitions and prizes are all excellent ways of making them feel involved and valued, incentivizing them to let others know about your services.  

Allowing your customers a bit of fun alongside the financial advice you provide will also generally improve their experience.

Be careful to spend only what your business can afford on these schemes and programs, as overinvesting could cause a reduction in profit over time, even with a strong ROI. 

Content writer

Kate Morgan

Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.