Use a Mirror to Get Referred

michelle donovanAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Many of you will remember Michael Jackson’s song, Man in the Mirror. Just the mention of it starts the tune in my head. For the purposes of this article, focus for a minute on the words in the refrain and apply it to yourself. When you’re done singing, let’s regroup.

I'm starting with the man in the mirror I'm asking him to change his ways And no message could've been any clearer If you wanna make the world a better place Take a look at yourself and then make a change

Ok, so why do I point this out? Obviously, it’s a powerful song. More importantly, the meaning of the words couldn’t be more poignant when it comes to getting more referrals. All too often, advisors complain to me about clients who don’t refer them and COIs who never refer back. They even gripe about getting junk referrals. Complaining about others instead of looking in the mirror is not going to fix the problem.

It’s time to look at yourself and make a change.

A mentor once taught me that if you’re not happy with what you’re getting (i.e., referrals), it’s because of what you’re doing. And if you are happy with what you’re getting, it’s because of what you’re doing. Read that a second time and look in the mirror.

Let’s start with your clients. How much time are you spending teaching them how to refer you? Or have you become complacent, expecting that simply because they work with you, they should know how to refer you? Typically, that alone doesn’t produce a swarm of referrals; if it did, you would have more referrals than you could handle. Clients might know what you do for them, but can they explain it to their friends? Do they know how to recognize an opportunity for you? Can they comfortably bring you up in a conversation?