Past posts here have discussed the seeds of referral opportunity in the current market environment—the chance that your clients know someone who is unhappy with their current advisor, whether due to lack of contact or poor performance, is very high. You should certainly be asking your clients if they know such an unsatisfied friend or associate.
But you should be careful if one of your clients refers such an acquaintance to you. Because the referral is coming off of an unsavory relationship with another advisor and you were recommended, they are likely to have unnaturally high expectations. It's not a bad thing that they think highly of you, but exaggerated expectations can lead to frustration when they're not delivered upon, and let's face it, no one is making miracles happen in this market.
In order to address these kinds of inflated expectations, you should be upfront early on in the relationship, before the referral agrees to become a client. You might tell them that your clients have not been immune from the market meltdown and that you won't be able to fix all the problems with their accounts over night, but also that you are dedicated to protecting and growing your clients' assets and would appreciate the opportunity to do the same with them. Whatever you choose to say, honesty and pragmatism are key.
By bringing up expectations and addressing reality like this, you encourage future client satisfaction. To ignore inflated expectations is to make dissatisfaction, and possibly defection, more likely.