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Advisors: How to Embrace the Value of Your Referral Network

  • By Judith Bowman
  • |
  • January 15, 2019

Question: How do you get the (impossible) meeting with the much-sought-after potential new client?

Answer: Work through your mutually respected third party to secure an introduction. Also known as networking!

Networking is the single most effective means of reaching the greatest number of qualified individuals within the shortest amount of time while providing you the best opportunity to write the most business. As an advisor, a trusted referral that rolls you right into the inbox of a prospect is the single most valuable part of your growth strategy.

Although central to your mission, thus far, your connector merely enables passage. Your journey, and the real work, now begins to portray yourself as “meeting-worthy” and actually get the much-coveted face-to-face or virtual meeting.

Work the Connection

Once you have identified the “mutually respected third party,” work your connection.

Ask your networking connector if you may use their name if they didn’t directly make the introduction.

Ask honestly if they are willing to speak well on your behalf, and never assume that because you know them or happen to have met their acquaintance that they will speak well of you.

Ask the connector if you may keep them apprised of your progress. If so, copy your connector in initial correspondence, referencing their name in the body of your email/letter.

Initial Telephone Conversations

The way you conduct yourself on an initial call is critical.

It matters not who you know or how you got through to Ms. X now, because unless you project well on the telephone you will not advance.

Be thoroughly prepared to confidently articulate who you are, the nature of your call and let them know up front “what’s in it for them.”

Before the call, research your target as best you can.

Customize your “tagline” and practice in advance to confidently articulate your approach and offerings.

Ask pre-planned probing questions specific to their needs. Remember, the number one rule in sales: Identify the client need and fulfill that need!

Listen attentively and take notes to skillfully lead your closing recap back to that which they originally shared relative to their needs.

Use their name often in conversation.

Record specific and personal notes and use this information in subsequent communication. Specific hobbies? Shared history? Similar likes? These are the stepping stones to developing a relationship.

In Conclusion

While these may simply be the initial steps in developing a new client introduction and relationship, they are also the most critical steps in generating significant and positive growth for your practice.

Once you have the client in your office for an initial meeting, your natural charms, your internal environment, your presentation and your capable staff will help to seal the deal if all your ducks are in a row.

How Ironstone Can Help

If you need assistance in other ways for the internal and external growth of your practice, we’re happy to hop on a call to better learn your challenges and how we can help you overcome those obstacles.

Contact us for a friendly chat about your advisory practice needs. Trust us, we’ve seen it all from advisors coast to coast!

Are you just getting by or are you getting better? Get started today!

Author Bio

Judith Bowman founded Protocol Consultants International in 1993 and has prospered to become an established Business Protocol expert, educator, corporate speaker, and renowned authority in the field of Professional Presence, Dining Savvy, International Protocol Awareness, and personal and professional development. Ms. Bowman also provides Protocol Certification. She is a graduate of Boston College and has pursued studies in Effective Business Communication at Harvard University. Ms. Bowman speaks to critical interpersonal communication skills and shares specific nuances advantageous to exemplary conduct in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive global work environment. She showcases everyday business situations and shows professionals how to leverage these as opportunities to demonstrate respect while earning respect - while showing you know “the difference” while making a difference to stand apart and outclass the competition! Ms. Bowman has authored two business protocol books: “Don’t Take the Last Donut…” (Career Press) presently sold in 16 countries, translated in 14 languages, and her new book, “How to Stand Apart @ Work …” She has authored a weekly Everyday Etiquette column syndicated throughout New England for ten years by the Pulitzer Prize winning Eagle Tribune Publishing Company. Internationally, she authored a Business Protocol column for the prestigious Noblesse Magazine, China. She presently writes a weekly Business Protocol column for Boston Herald newspapers and has a coordinating weekly radio segment, “A Protocol Moment” on Herald Radio. She also writes a monthly Fabulous Woman series which features truly fabulous women who have shattered the glass ceiling and has been featured in Leader to Leader, March, 2015. Bowman has produced a series of support products which include: Executive Etiquette/First Impressions DVD, DINING 101 DVD and Protocol Training DVD – from her on-line How to Stand Apart series.