Kelly Rigas, the managing director and founder of KR Wealth Management Group in Dallas, benefits from her effective public speaking skills.

She can tell a joke and then deliver an insightful analysis of market trends.

For eight years, when not providing financial advisory services to her firm’s clients, Rigas has used those communications capabilities to serve as a lecturer to MBA students in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

This year, however, she decided to use her lecturing skills to get her clients and their friends to gather together, creating an opportunity for her firm to get referrals. The lecture event will take place at the Ritz-Carlton, which is a bit more upscale than an SMU classroom.

“There has been a lot of interest,” Rigas says.

If they want to generate referrals, financial advisors need to identify the talents and skill sets that will prompt clients to bring along friends who make good prospects. Once they find the sweet spot for hosting such occasions, the advisors may then develop plans to make those events happen regularly.

Advisors should recognize, however, that success is unlikely to happen the first time or before some time-consuming tweaking of the details.

Anne Godfrey, who is the director of marketing and projects at Pence Wealth Management with offices in Newport Beach, Calif., has put a lot of time and thought into what talents and capabilities are available at her firm to regularly host such events.

“We have what we call private briefs,” she says.

Godfrey relies on the talents of Dryden Pence, the firm’s chief investment officer, who has polished speaking and analytical skills. He leads discussions that Godfrey schedules on a monthly basis in the firm’s large, comfortable conference room, which is designed for such purposes.

The events typically include 15 or 20 people.

The monthly frequency of the talks offers clients a steady and predictable way to give their friends “an easy introduction” to the firm, Godfrey says.

“It removes the task and burden on the client to do the sales pitch,” she says.

In the past few months, some clients have sent in at least three referrals to the events, Godfrey says.

Despite her success, she warns that other advisors who want to follow suit should recognize that “this is not something that can work for anyone right off the bat.”

Instead, her firm’s clocklike effectiveness in hosting events that draw good referrals took time to develop, Godfrey says.

“We have been doing this for at least two years,” she says.

Miriam Rozen writes about the financial advisory industry and is a staff reporter for Texas Lawyer.

This story is part of a 30-day series on how to generate the best referrals.

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