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Advisers not planting referral seed

Advisers are missing out on referral opportunity by not educating their client base on how the process works, according to business coach Nathan Williams.

Speaking to ifa, Williams said that while most are aware of the value of organic growth, more advisers need to be proactive about referrals by communicating with their existing clients.

“Sometimes the clients doesn’t really know that the adviser is looking for referrals so there is not really that expectation- the seed hasn’t been planted,” Williams said.

“That education rests with the adviser. They need to makes it easy to get referrals and often they don’t because they just don’t communicate the fact that they really want them.”

Williams, who is managing director of referral specialist Customer Return, said that often clients have a perception that their advisors might be “too busy to bother them with a referral.”

He said that having a specific referral process can help clients feel more comfortable in recommending their adviser within their social network.

Having clients know one or two comments to listen out for can help them know when to point someone towards their financial planner Williams added.


“This is reverts to your clients being an extended sales team, so rather than trying to get names out of people, it’s more about putting the adviser’s name into their client’s mind,” Williams said.

“And being clear on how that referral process works so that people know how they actually refer; does the adviser send them an email that they can forward on to this prospect or is it done over the phone?”

“So when a client hears ‘oh my investments haven’t been going so great” they know to say “you should talk to my adviser, they’ve done XYZ for me and I think they’re great.”