If you do a great job for your clients and provide a remarkable experience, I’m sure they gladly suggest you when someone asks them for a recommendation in your line of work. While this is a great thing, how often do you think your clients and strategic partners are approached with this specific type of request?
In my role as “Personal CFO” for some of my clients at Washington Financial Group, if my only request for help is to ask them to think of me when someone asks if they know a good financial advisor, I would be making it hard for them to help me as much as they would like to. Sure, some of our clients and strategic partners are go-to resources for their network, so it’s common for people to ask them for referrals for all kinds of services. But I’m willing to bet that for the majority of our clients, there’s no particular reason why people would come to them for advice regarding our specific line of work.
Rather than taking a passive approach and letting the people in your network wait around to be asked if they know a good (fill in your occupation), you can be more proactive by making them aware of a variety of life or business circumstances where your service might be needed. This should allow for them to better identify an opportunity for recommending you.
Case in point. My world-class personal trainer, Roger Brown of Train Like A Pro, is a very personable guy who has intimate conversations with his clients every day. Heck, I sometimes feel like he doubles as my therapist given what I reveal to him about my life. Obviously, most of us would not think to ask our personal trainer if he or she knows a good financial advisor. But in the past six months alone, Roger has recommended me to three of his clients.
I opened the door to this by letting him know that a good prospective client for me could be someone who is looking to sell their business or transition to a new firm or career. My list of triggering events also includes buying a home, having a child, or being concerned about the health or finances of aging parents. I know his clients talk to him about all kinds of things. If they happen to mention any of the above, Roger knows he’s talking to a good prospect for me.
If you provide your clients and strategic partners with this kind of information – specific situations where you could be of value – they will be much better able to identify introductions for you. Based on your line of work, what are some of the events or transitions that could indicate a potential opportunity for you?