The Declining Role of Referrals

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It’s been said that word of mouth is the best form of marketing.

If person “A” trusts you, and person “B” knows and likes person “A,” then there’s a good chance that when person “B” is referred to you, they will do business with you.

That makes a good deal of sense.

But what happens if your only growth strategy is to cut out the middleman, where every prospect is a person “B” and there is no person “A” to refer them to you?

For years, advisors have thrived on referral business through relationships with influential third parties.

But referrals are random. You can’t trigger them at will, and your source of referrals can easily change their mind and refer to other advisors. In addition, you’re now dealing with the exponential threat of increased sales resistance from a shrinking pool of opportunities, as the profession has become commoditized.

But has relying on referrals ever been a sustainable way to grow a business?

Referrals may have gotten you here, but they won’t take you where you need to go. Being fed is nice and comfortable while it lasts, but real growth and development only happens after you’re able to feed yourself.