Everyone has been asking for referrals the wrong way.

We all know that the number one way to grow your business in almost any business is by getting referrals. It not only helps grow the business quickly, but it is inexpensive. It’s been said before that a referral from a client is the highest form of compliment. If all this is true about referrals, then how can you, as an advisor and business owner, get more of them?

Stop asking for them!

Very few of your clients are excited about you asking them if they can give you four names of contacts they know that you can go talk to. That is so played out and is so offensive to the person sitting on the other side of the table. The Northwestern Mutual technique is dead, or it should be dead, even if it works, you don’t want to grow your business that way.

I have not once asked for a referral in the many years I have been in the financial advisor industry. That being said, I feel like the majority of our new clients come from referrals. I can almost guarantee that if you start handling your referrals in a similar fashion, you too will start seeing your referrals increase, and your closing rate on those referrals increase like crazy!

So what is the secret? Seriously, stop asking for them. Every client you get, work hard at providing the best experience for them that you can. Go over the top. Do your best to completely knock them off their feet with the service, plan design, and detail that you provide. Get them excited about where they are going and the potential they have and lastly show them how excited you are for them. Make sure they know that you are going to be one of their biggest encouragers moving forward. If you do that well, the client will say something like, “We have got to get you in front of more people!” They may even ask you, “What type of client are you looking for? “

Don’t get sucked in. You now have a decision, be common, or uncommon.

Common advisors say something they have rehearsed over and over again to get that person to think of specific names of high net-worth individuals. And honestly that approach might get you in front of some people, but I bet your closing percentage on those people will be small.

Here is the Uncommon approach and one that will help you with your closing percentage. As a side note, this should be genuine, not rehearsed.

“I am honored that you would want me to talk to your family and friends. I think the most effective way that I have seen work in the past is by being enthusiastic about your plan. Let people see and hear your own testimony about where you were and where you are now. That enthusiasm is contagious. I know firsthand because I have been in the same room as both of you as we were helping shape your future. If you want to introduce me to others just continue to be excited, and when someone asks you about what your plan is just tell them (as much as you feel comfortable). If the person is interested in what you are saying and would like to be in a similar spot, they will ask you about the person/advisor that helped you, and that is when you can introduce me. You could go as far as saying that I will have Phillip reach out to you.”

Those people are now really leaning in when they sit in front of you because they have seen someone they know that has gotten traction from your advice.

That is an Uncommon approach but it is an approach that is empowering to your client. All they have to know is their own plan and the traction they now have. They also feel like they have a vested interest in your practice because they finally know how to help get people in your door. Everyone likes to help people, and they will feel honored to do so.

Go be Uncommon.