Guardian launches planner referral guide

Suncorp dealer group Guardian Advice has launched a new referral strategy for its financial planning network focused on securing the “ideal client”.

The 'Centres of Influence' strategy guide contains a structured process on choosing the right business partners and designing a process to facilitate referrals.

Suncorp Life head of dealerships Simon Harris said having an understanding of what services target clients already use is key to creating successful partnerships.

“Our goal is to train advisers to form new centres of influence, or reinvigorate existing networks they might not be getting much from, and help them secure the right kind of clients,” said Mr Harris.

“Depending on your ideal client, you’re often looking at the ‘newly responsible’ embarking on major life decisions like marriage, buying a house, taking out a mortgage, having kids or refinancing debt. So it’s key to understand what other professional service firms your target clients are already doing business with.

“Most customers trust word of mouth when making a buying decision, so it’s essential to have a referral partnership with a range of relevant service providers to offer warm or hot introductions to potential clients who need your services.”

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The guide responds to a Guardian adviser polll which found referral challenge to be a significant barrier to creating new business.

“Advisers might have 50 people in their referral network, but they don’t know how to leverage that network for long-term benefit, which can limit the power of word of mouth,” Mr Harris said.

“Our model builds referral relationships based on due diligence, persistence and accountability to drive successful partnerships that bring long-term benefit to the referring practice.”

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