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Sales And Marketing
Mastering the art of getting more referrals
Mutual Fund Live
Word - of - mouth. So here is a term which we are all accustomed to, right? But how many of us are able to capitalize on this strongest tool of marketing??? If research states that 90 % of population count on opinions received from friends and family, which definitely means we live in a world where we don’t shy away from sharing our experiences. And let’s face it… unfavourable encounters are the ones which become viral first! 

So in a struggle to bank on this irrefutable power of word-of-mouth, many financial advisors get into ‘self – focussed / self - concentrated way’ of selling, which is a big NO. Getting more referrals is a conscious art, and if used decorously, you will hit the bull’s eye. Here we list down few tips for financial advisors while they are trying to seek more referrals from their clients.


1.
Document Everything:
As we say, precaution is better than cure. This is the most basic step towards maintaining a healthy relationship between both the parties. But wait a minute…were you aware that this document can also turn out as an opportunity to propose referrals? Yes, you can ask your client to provide you with a qualified referral even if not immediately, maybe later on. You can also add addendum / appendix which may state that: ‘’If Financial advisor is able to deliver profit of at least 10 %, then Client shall provide you with names of two qualified referrals.’’ This is a good practice as clients can also experience your capability before vouching for you. 

2.Follow – up:
Well as clichéd as it may sound, if the client is not satisfied, they won’t recommend you. A specialized blend of services is demanded and financial advisors should check at regular intervals with their client on how they are doing and whether they need any kind of help. 

3.Playing with words:
Using right line at the right time works wonders. Don’t ask your clients to recommend you someone "who they know could benefit from your service." Instead, ask them for specifics like the names of ones who retired, whom they know shifted jobs, planning to purchase a new house or car, just started their career,got married recently, etc.

4.Timing:
So did someone just praise you via an email? Did your client call you for those good words? Then hang on and freeze that moment. Such instances tend to work in your favour and you can always ask your happy clients to give a referral. And we are sure…they would not mind doing it! 
Remember: Always try to exceed your client’s expectations which will motivate them to leave a positive feedback. 

5.Does your clientele have younger generation?
Few brokerage firms in a thirst to gain more profits tend to focus only on wealthiest clients. But losing out on younger generation means neglecting the next generation of to-be-wealthy investors. So instead of betting on short-term strategy, think about the long-term impact. 

6.Fighting fear:
It’s good to put up a brave face at the time of distress in financial markets. But by admitting your fears during those bearish days, helps to educate clients even before a downward trend starts spreading. This opens the door to discussion, transparency and trust. How about starting with, "I know few things are not as rosy as supposed to be; let me help you with that." This will instil confidence among your clients. If one has an eye for opportunity, you can use such a situation (bearish markets) to your advantage. Bear market is actually the time when one has the opportunity to invest. 

So when the bear knocks at your door, you can conduct your own research and advise your clients to selectively invest. If you were aware, not long before mutual funds had witnessed investments from domestic houses as high as R. 69,000 crores towards the end of the previous year. This initiative was taken due to surge in inflows in equity schemes and to keep this industry attractive for prospective investors. And now in May, Fund managers pumped in Rs 6,500 crore in equity markets as they were optimistic about the inflows in equity and debt markets. This is an example of how Advisor can analyse the market set-up and advise their clients regarding their investments. One word of caution, never time the investment suggestions to the client, encourage savings as a discipline and hence investments. But one can always use the market positions to encourage more investments.

7.Know your customer profile:
Not required to be explained further, research is important. You’ll need to know precisely who you are targeting at and whom to ask!






Using Social Media while seeking referrals


1.LinkedIn


LinkedIn is a must! We will tell you why…

So instead of asking referrals blindly, you can do your bit of research first. 

Understand the profile, name or organisation you wish to target. So the next time you sit with your client, you save him from superfluous trouble. Here’s how you can achieve it…

Thanks to LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search, it’s comparatively easy to find qualified second-degree connections which can be your prospective clients. 

After mentioning keywords like location, etc., you may find someone with whom you think you can connect with. Hover over the arrow next to the 'Connect' button and select 'Get Introduced' from the menu bar. It’s as simple!


2.Linking URL to email/website


You can also add a link to a form on your website / email for referral submissions.


Bottom Line: 

To sum it all, follow ‘DAPER’ principle…Deliver, Ask, Provide Content, Make it Easy and Reward!

And yes the popular adage, ‘Customer is the King’ still stands strong. 


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