How to get more referrals

Everything gets easier when you do not have to spend any time finding clients or marketing yourself to strangers. You probably knew this already. 


When you attract new clients effortlessly, you get to do more work that you enjoy, enjoy more personal freedom, and increase your revenues. I will tell you exactly what you must do to start getting new introductions almost instantly, and I will do it all in less than 800 words by starting with the usual problems.

The commodity trap

You are delivering commoditised products and services, mistaking them for staged experiences and guided transformation. In short, you are confused about the difference between great client service and great client experience, but you don’t know it because what you’re doing feels right. But there is a difference between service and experience. A big one. Service saves a client time. Experience provides a client with time well-spent.

The ennui trap

Whatever you are doing is not enough. It does not delight, surprise or engage – either you or your clients. Excellent products and services are not enough. Your clients get an experience when they buy a cup of coffee, but they want a memorable experience when they invest their time and attention with you.

The indistinguishable trap

You don’t create enough easy or obvious reasons for people to bring you up in conversation. My advice is that you spend more time with your clients. Create spaces and places and events for them to experience you. When you limit your time with your clients to business meetings, you commoditise yourself. This is a choice and a bad one. I bet the places where you personally spend the most money do not make you feel like a transaction.

The relevancy trap

What you do for your clients is not relevant enough. While important, it does not resonate with them. All of us pay the most attention and money for products and services that are the most unique and personally relevant. Your clients need financial planning, but what do they want?

The average trap

Niche. Niche. Weird. What does that mean? It means you find a client niche, you narrow it even more, and then you narrow it one more time by considering what makes this niche different from its peer group. You must be as precise as possible to be as relevant as possible. For example, small business owners who have a staff of 12 and are single parents. Or retirees who want to travel and experience new things, who have no children. Financial advisors who own their own practice, who are passionate about learning about and staging better customer experiences.

The more specific you are about who your work is for, the easier it is for them to find you and endorse you to others who want the same.

The serious shift

Create something clients want to buy into. People invest their money with you and what happens? Other than it grows. What else? What is it that you want to help your clients accomplish beyond financial security? What are the consequences of knowing you? What are you teaching them? What are you connecting them to? Solutions? Ideas? Other people?

What is your secret? What do you accomplish together? What stories are you giving them to tell? I could go on, but I have made my point. Everything leads to the same conclusion, and it is this: people will talk about you or not talk about you based on how you make them feel. Do everything in your power to make your clients feel complete, and with a purpose.

You cannot rely on word-of-mouth to grow your business if you have even one of the problems that I listed above. Once you are a commodity, life gets pretty grim.

Dennis Moseley-Williams, CEO, DMW Strategic Consulting

You must shift what business you are in by transforming financial planning from a commoditised service that your clients buy from you, into a series of staged, sequential experiences – including financial planning meetings – that guide your clients to achieve their personal aspirations. You have to give them something to buy into.

You are not an advisor; you are an advocate for your cause, which is… and this is the part you have to figure out. Look inside: what do you believe? What is your secret that you want to use your business to teach?

What will change the game is changing the game.

This coming 15 September, I’ll be participating virtually in the HUM South Africa conference where you’ll have a chance to learn more about me and the work I do with forward-thinking financial advisors who are doing more work that they love for people they like and enjoying more personal freedom.