What worries you about asking for referrals?
If you're like many other advisors, you're afraid you'll offend and alienate clients by asking. In fact, though, that fear is completely unfounded—assuming you ask in the right way.
The problem is that advisors often view their client relationships as much more fragile than they really are. Daryl Logullo calls this line the "damage threshold"—the line you can't cross without harming the client's perception of you.
Is there really such a line? Sure. And if you took your client out to dinner, got drunk, and danced the Can-Can on the tabletop, you might cross it. The line exists... but it's probably a lot farther away than you may think.
Advisors often operate as if the damage threshold for every client relationship were zero. Even when they're dealing with a long-time business associate or a client of 20 years, they actually think that the relationship is so fragile that a simple request for a referral or introduction might blow it to bits. A great analogy is the anorexic who looks in the mirror and sees a fat person instead of someone who is skeletally thin. There’s a skewed perception of reality going on here that is very destructive.
If you're deathly afraid of offending your clients by asking for referrals, there are a few remedies at your disposal.
- Take an objective look at the evidence, which will show you that your fears are irrational.
- Become more aware of your own value, so you feel more confident in the resiliency of your client relationships.
- Learn to think about referrals as a way to help clients, not you.
- Make sure you know how NOT to ask for referrals, and build confidence in your ability to do it gracefully and effectively.
Don't let imaginary barriers stand between you and success. Get past the damage threshold.
Subscribe to our free referrals newsletter.