When it comes to marketing, referral sources are some of your best allies. Here are a few ways to create a repeatable system for generating, growing and sustaining your referral sources.
Identifying Active Referral Sources This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how few advisors track the source of their clients. The simplest way to do this is to add a section to your database. Ask new clients how they heard about you. Once you identify your referral sources, you can target your marketing efforts. Active referral sources are those individuals who have referred you clients in the past 18 months. Create an enewsletter specifically for your referral sources, meet with them to continue to build your relationship and send them thank you notes for their referrals. These are just a few of the ways that you can convert your referral sources to raving fans.
Building Prospective Sources Generally, centers of influence, such as CPAs and attorneys, make great referral sources. The best way to identify these professionals as prospective referral sources is through your satisfied clients. Build a database for prospective referral sources. Ask your clients for an introduction to their CPAs and attorneys and schedule meetings. Cultivate and build a relationship with them.
Knowing When to Say When Referral sources are fantastic resources for gaining new clients, but not all of your currrent or prospective referral sources will generate business for you. It is important to know where to invest your time and energy and when to call it quits. If you’ve met with prospective referral sources several times, but have yet to get a referral from them, it may be time to move on. Start meeting with new sources, but continue to keep in touch with all of your prospective referral sources through enewsletters, LinkedIn updates, seminar and webinar invitations, etc.
Tracking a Your System Once you’ve created your database of current and prospective referral sources, you can monitor your progress with new business development. Track which referral sources refer clients. Increase the amount of effort you spend on those active referral sources, who generate clients, while still keeping your name in front of referral sources, who have yet to refer any business to you.
Marketing is about understanding where to invest your time and energy. Current and prospective referral sources provide the best return on your marketing investment. Creating a methodology for systematically increasing your referral source base will help you to grow you business.