To Get Your Clients Referring, Teach Them the Trigger Phrases

The new referral conversation is about interacting with our clients the way friends would interact with each other or enlist their help in problem-solving. Whatever approach we take, it should be a conversation that delivers benefits to the client.

One aspect of the new referral conversation is that it can naturally grow out of educating the client. You have worked hard to determine who your ideal client is, what problems they have, and what kinds of solutions or experiences they seek. Ideally, you would have reviewed your service mix and made some adjustments to more closely tailor it to that ideal client. So, the natural place for the new referral conversation to begin is in describing the problem you have decided to focus on solving or the need you have determined to fill. By extension, you will be drawing a picture for your clients of your ideal prospect. Our objective is to identify and reinforce expressions the client may hear that we hope will prompt him to mention you. We want to be teaching the client how to know who a great referral would be.

In The Referral Engine, John Jantsch says “I believe any salesperson worth their salt has developed a list of phrases, situations, and verbal clues that, if heard during a sales presentation, signal it’s time to take the order. The same idea is true of a qualified referral.”

What are your trigger phrases?

  • ·         I was just awarded another allocation of stock options, and I’m not sure exactly what they can do for me.
  • ·         Our company just moved to a cash balance retirement plan.
  • ·         My best friends husband was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
  • ·         We went to my son’s high school last night to you the guidance counselor talk about financial aid.
  • ·         My sister just had her first child.

Take some time and talk with your clients about who you have realized your ideal client is. And discuss those ideal clients in terms of needs they might express that you are particularly good at fulfilling. Teach your clients those trigger phrases so that when they hear them again you will pop back into their mind.

1 Comment

  1. Judy BroskyMarch 13, 2012

    I totally agree with you. In my coaching practice I refer to it as scripting. When my financial advisor coaching clients know the scripts that work when they first meet with a client, when they take data with a client and when they present to a client "hoping" for a sale, scripting helps alleviate any of the "hoping"…not formal sounding scripts, but the use of questions and concepts that show a greater depth of understanding of the situation. When an advisor understands the client and the client trusts the advisor, the close is just assumed. Having spent 27 years as a female financial advisor working with business owners, I believe in knowing your script and following it. That was just as helpful 30 years ago when I stepped into this "man's world" as it is now. And it works!!!
    Judy Brosky
    Success Coach for Female Financial Advisors


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