When you have a sizable book, you have the advantage of existing client relationships you can draw on to launch and propel a referral strategy. Clients know and trust you, and they may be more comfortable recommending you to friends and associates.
But what about if you're just starting out or getting back into
the swing of things and don't have many clients yet? Jim A., a rookie advisor, had this on his mind when he asked
The short answer is, absolutely. Just because you don't have a large client base to leverage, doesn't mean you're bereft of resources.
“Remember,” says Bob, “while you don't have a client base yet, you probably know far more people than you think.” Additionally, he offers three methods new advisors can use to build their books and increase referral potential:
- 1. Research tells us that the most important factor in a new client choosing to do business with an advisor is not level of experience—it’s chemistry.
- 2. While you don't yet have a "track record,” you do have a narrative of some kind based on your own life story that can be just as compelling. Why did you get into this industry? What have you done in the past that can translate into success as an advisor?
- 3. Focus on your strengths. What can you do better than the competition even though you have less experience? Clients tell us that listening, for example, is extremely important in their advisor relationship. How about specializing in helping a specific niche based on your past experience? I know a very successful advisor that parlayed his experience with selling surgical products to surgeons to being a FA to surgeons.
It's nice to have a book of clients and strong relationships to draw on when pursuing referrals, but it's far from necessary. Don't wait for future conditions to grant some kind of credibility you think you need. You have your own strengths and knowledge to offer clients and their associates right now.