A Blog for Today’s Top Financial Advisors

Want More Referrals? Don’t Ask—Offer! – Episode 20

Key Takeaways:

  • Offer the family members, friends and colleagues of your clients a second-opinion service.
  • If they’re already well-positioned, confirm they’re on track.
  • If they need help, offer to work with them—or point them to an appropriate advisor.

Ever wonder why your highly satisfied clients aren’t constantly sending their friends, family members and business associates your way?

You’re not alone. Generating new business through referrals is a perennial challenge for financial advisors.

But many of the most successful financial advisors are in on a closely held secret: If you want more client referrals, stop asking for them!

You read that right: Stop asking for referrals. Instead, here’s what I want you to start doing that will drive your new client introduction rates through the roof:

Offer a second-opinion service to your best clients.

Here’s what that means—and how to take this crucial step successfully.


When you provide a second-opinion financial review to the people your clients care about most, you help them identify the gap between where they are now financially and where they want to go, and whether they are currently well-positioned to close that gap and achieve all that is important to them in life.

There are financial advisors in our coaching program who are getting a steady stream of qualified client introductions and are growing by 20 percent or more just by using this one strategy.

The reason is simple: A second-opinion service is fundamentally different from—and superior to—asking for referrals.

  • When you ask for a referral, you are making a request that is all about you and your needs.
  • When you offer a second opinion, you are giving a hugely valuable gift to clients’ family members, friends and associates. It’s all about helping the people they care about most.


Even better, the process for offering second opinions to garner introductions is extremely straightforward—and not the least bit pushy or sales-y. At each meeting with your clients, simply let them know that:

  1. You offer a valuable second-opinion financial review service to the people they care about most.
  2. You’ll look at where their friends, family members or colleagues are today and where they want to go, and identify any financial gaps.
  3. If you feel that they are well-positioned financially to reach their goals, you will say so—and encourage them to continue down the path they are already on.
  4. If they aren’t being well-served—and need a new approach—you will explore whether you are the right financial advisor to help them based on your ability to make a major impact on their lives.
  5. If you aren’t, you will point them to a financial advisor who would be the right fit.

Then simply ask: Do you know anyone who would benefit from this service?

The actual conversation might sound something like this:

“I want to offer you a complimentary service that we call our second-opinion service. It’s for the people you really care about—your friends, family members and colleagues—who may be in a complex situation or who just want to make sure they’re making smart decisions in today’s economy. We help the people taking part in this service make informed decisions by providing them with a second opinion on their finances.

“When you introduce us to someone, we will take them through a discovery process to get very clear on where they are now, where they want to go and what the gaps are. Then we’ll evaluate whether their current financial advisors are taking good care of them. If they are, we’ll recommend that they stay with their current advisors.

If not, we’ll evaluate whether we would be the right advisors. As you know, we limit our practice to people for whom we can make a major impact. If we’re not the right advisors for them, we promise to point them in the direction of the right solutions.

Whom do you know who would benefit from this service?”

Make this offer at every regular meeting with your clients and you’ll find yourself enjoying a steady stream of introductions to prequalified prospective clients—and unbelievable growth.

That, in turn, will give you the confidence to work only with those clients to whom you can bring tremendous value, to nail your client service experience and to accelerate your success dramatically in the years to come.

Pro tip #1: If you do not receive any introductions the first time you make the offer, just let your clients know that you will make the offer again at each meeting and ask them to continue to think over your offer to see if anyone comes to mind.

Pro tip #2: Call the second-opinion service whatever you like. While most financial advisors we coach prefer “second-opinion service,” others have called it a strategic wealth analysis, wealth diagnostic service and wealth management assessment.



To download a transcript of this episode, click here.

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