Early last year, I worked with an advisor who picked up 25 referrals over a two week period of time.  Just by adding one new agenda item to the client review meetings he had already planned.

He had only received about a dozen referrals in the previous year, so he was very excited.

What was the secret?

I helped him implement my Referral Focus System.

Instead of just wishing for referrals, he’s going into each client review meeting prepared to discuss the mutual benefits of client advocacy.  And his clients are more than willing to help.

His process goes something like this:

  1. First, before client review meetings, he spends about 15 minutes researching people his clients may know.  These are folks that he thinks will match his ideal client profile.  They are his clients’ friends, family, neighbors, work associates…
  2. Next, he lists the names of these potential referrals on the agenda for his annual review meeting under a separate heading – “Advocacy”.
  3. During the review meeting he explains the mutual benefits of advocacy to his clients.
  4. Finally, at the appropriate point on the agenda, he reviews the names he has researched and asks his clients if they would be willing to make an introduction.  People love to be asked for their opinions.
  5. He is averaging better than two referrals per meeting.  Sometimes it’s a name he has suggested; other times it’s a totally different person.  But in all cases it’s someone the client believes would be a good fit.

Referrals can be this simple!

The key is the advance homework.

When you blindly ask for a referral it can be awkward for both you and the client.  When you suggest a name you are showing respect and giving your client a point of reference.

This is a highly professional and elegant way to garner top quality referrals.

If referrals are important to achieving your marketing and prospecting goals, give this idea a try.  It’s been a winning strategy for me and many of my advisor clients.


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