The Anatomy of the Referral

While everything seems to be changing around us, that may not be the case when it comes to understanding referrals.  And that’s a good thing.

A few too many years ago than I care to admit, I wrote a report called The Anatomy of the Referral, drawing on the results of our first large-scale investor study.  (Just to get it out there, that was 10 years ago, even if it seems like yesterday.)

In that report, we provided evidence of something that has formed the basis of the work we’ve done, since then, to help advisors increase referrals. And it seemed to hit a nerve – in a good way.

For many it was the first time seeing real evidence that referrals have very little to do with helping you and everything to do with helping the friends and family of your clients.

We’ve continued to conduct extensive investor research every year, not only to create benchmarks for our client feedback program, but to understand what clients are thinking, feeling and doing.  And when it comes to referrals the results have been remarkably consistent.

The reason clients refer is a reflection of the very best part of humanity – our innate desire to help the people we care about it.  It was true then and it’s true now.  And that means that our referral strategies need to reflect that fundamental motivation.

I created this 6-minute video as part of a bigger online course, but I thought you might find it interesting to see the results of The Anatomy of the Referral 12 years later.

The research is only part of the equation.  It tells us why clients refer and when they don’t but that doesn’t mean that referrals will ‘just happen’.  If you’re going to drive meaningful growth you’ll need to design an intentional strategy that respects and reflects the motivations of your clients.  You’ll need to help them understand the problems you solve.  And you’ll need to help them connect the dots between the challenges their friends and describing and the solutions that you can provide.

But all of that starts with understanding the anatomy of the referral.

Thanks for stopping by,


P.S. If you’d like to learn more about how we help advisors use input from clients to uncover unmet service, revenue and referral opportunities I’d invite you to book a 20-minute demo.  Please click here to find a convenient time.

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