Most advisors loathe asking for referrals, but with modern technology, they no longer have to ask clients to provide names.
These days, broker-dealers, other financial firms and some third parties offer an array of resources to garner referrals using technology.
And some advisors just do it themselves.
For instance, when it comes to referrals, advisor Dan Cuprill unabashed choice is a system he set up in-house that helps him avoid asking clients directly for referrals. This has allowed him to sleep better at night.
Cuprill, a CFP, the creator of Advisor Architect, a business training program for advisors, and the president of advisory firm Matson & Cuprill in Cincinnati, says his tech program, Robo-Referrals, is the solution to asking or getting referrals.
“In the first two years of working with us, a client will automatically receive a number of valuable content pieces, for example, a video, an ebook or a webinar. Using our ‘infusion software,’ we send out these materials every three months,” Cuprill says.
“Clients then can share the content with their friends and family by simply clicking the ‘share’ button on their email from us, which automatically sends the material to their friends,” he says. “Going forward, we can invite them to our upcoming workshops and client events because we have captured their contact information.”
Industry veteran Marie Swift, president and chief executive of Impact Communications of Leawood, Kansas, says that marketing automation software, such as Drip and Leadpages, can help advisors not only reach more potential clients but stimulate more referrals.
Visual communications are also important, as they generate more social-media activity than just text and links alone. A new tool Swift likes is Snappy Kraken’s Visual Marketing Insights.
“This omni-channel marketing tool was built specifically for financial advisors, by industry professionals who really know the space,” she says.
“The content is really good. In fact, it is visually stunning,” Swift says.
“Advisors can choose from a growing number of campaigns, customize the text however they would like, easily export for compliance needs and deploy the campaign with the push of a button,” she says.
Of course, many advisors still tap clients for referrals, and technology can help them out as well.
Joe Elsasser, a CFP and the managing partner of Sequent Planning, an Omaha, Nebraska-based investment advisory and financial planning firm, uses technology to reinforce measurable value.
“Clients are more apt to refer when they can clearly use and articulate to others how much money they saved in taxes by implementing a particular strategy or will realize by claiming Social Security in a certain way,” he says.
“We get referrals from clients and CPAs, because they’ve experienced our services and can articulate some sort of measurable value,” Elsasser said. “In our initial client meeting, we always explain specifically, the type of client we work with, so the expectation is that if they see a fit for themselves, they will also be able to see a fit for friends or family who have similar issues.”
This is part of a 30-30 series on savvy ideas on modernizing your practice.
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