By Matt Oechsli | @mattoechsli
Everyone loves getting referrals. It’s commonly known throughout the world of business that it’s much less expensive to acquire new clients/customers through referrals than traditional marketing methods. It’s also well known that new clients who have been referred by a family member, colleague, or friend have a stronger level of loyalty, making them a far more profitable client over the lifetime of the relationship.
Why? – you might be thinking. For a couple of reasons:
- There are usually similarities between the client who’s advocating your services, and the new client who is acquired as a result. They often have similar social interests, which is a trust enhancer, and that trust is naturally transferred to you – IF – you invest the time and energy to connect with this referred prospect socially on an emotional level.
- Clients who are referred are more likely to refer. In other words, your mission is to transform your newly acquired client into an advocate who will begin to activate the power of word-of-mouth-influence on your behalf in their network.
So, how do you turn the social capital you’re building with affluent clients into wealth? Very carefully and thoughtfully, which we refer to as strategic intent.
Our research has shown that every affluent client has a network, which we refer to as 7 spheres of influence, that is capable of referring (introducing) “six” qualified people to their financial advisor. Essentially, this is a Social Capital Wealth Cycle that has 6 components:
1. Emotionally connect with top 25 clients
Socialize with them strategically to ensure you’ve established an emotional connection. Always remember that once established, you have an ideal client who will serve as an advocate for you.
2. Use the 7 Spheres-of-Influence model
Source names of potential prospects who are connected to each of your top clients – armed with the knowledge that every affluent client should be responsible for “six” new clients from their network during the lifetime of your relationship, your mission is to carefully uncover (source) names of people in each sphere, discover as much as you can about them (easily done by simply bringing them up in conversation with your client), and assessing who meets your criteria as a qualified prospect. This model is a deliverable of our Oechsli Learning Center service.
3. Get personally introduced in a social context
Now that you’ve sourced what you believe to be qualified prospects (birds of a feather flock together) meeting these people your client knows in a social setting makes transitioning them from a prospect into a client much easier. It’s here that your goal is to connect with them on a personal level, building on the trust they have in your client, and the trust your client has in you. Little, if any, business should be discussed at this stage – you’re simply developing rapport built on trust.
4. Develop an emotional connection with each prospect
This can occur in the 3rd component, if not, further social interaction will be necessary. At first glance, this might seem unnecessary and a waste of time, but it’s just the opposite. This is completely counter-intuitive – as once the emotional connection is established continuing on to component 5, transitioning from prospect to client, is seamless.
5. Expand into a business relationship; prospect becomes client
As you’ve earned the right for an official business meeting, your prospect, soon to become a client, has already decided to work with you. But you still must ask.
6. New client activates word-of-mouth-influence in their spheres-of-influence
Because you’ve already established an emotional connection, your newly referred client is quickly becoming an ideal client. Showcase your professionalism and simultaneously begin sourcing names from their 7 spheres of influence.
When thinking of each top client being responsible for “six” new referrals, you suddenly have clarity regarding your future growth. Fully activate this cycle and the social capital you’re building with clients and referred prospects and wealth will follow.
If you liked this article, you’ll love the Oechsli Learning Center™ – the industry’s best online courses for financial advisors.
Imagine how great it would feel to start every day confident that you’re performing like an elite advisor.
- You ask a social contact to discuss business… and they agree
- You hold a team meeting… and everyone leaves with clarity
- You message a prospect on LinkedIn… and they actually respond
- You hold a review meeting… and your client understands your real value
- You have a social lunch with a client… and uncover an opportunity
The Oechsli Learning Center is based on research of over 2,000 advisors. The courses are designed to provide easy to implement, practical advice.