How to Generate More “Warm” Referrals

February 10, 2015

by Dan Solin

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The focus of my practice is to help evidence-based advisors convert more prospects into clients. Based on anecdotal data, the average closing rate hovers around 50%. Some firms, however, tell me their closing rates are closer to 20%. Clearly, there’s a lot of work they can do to improve their odds.

But for many advisors, the issue isn’t converting prospects into clients, but rather generating more leads. A recent article by sales expert and consultant Darren Marble offered some helpful suggestions on how even small advisory firms can generate a flood of new prospects.

This prospecting technique relies on the use of LinkedIn, which is an extremely powerful platform. I’m going to modify his recommendations slightly to make the process as easy as possible.

Start by opening LinkedIn and going to the page that lists your contacts. Click on one of your contacts and bring up their profile page. On the upper right-hand side of the page, you will see a hyperlink to the number of connections that person has. When you click on that hyperlink, you will see a list of all of their contacts (with hyperlinks to the profile pages of each contact) and another hyperlink showing contacts you share.

If you have LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator (a premium service that costs between $75 and $100 per month), you can filter the list of contacts using keywords, title, company size and other factors. However, even without Sales Navigator, you can simply click on the publicly available profile pages of contacts and shared contacts  and manually review all the pertinent information about those potential leads. The use of Sales Navigator automates this process and will make it much more efficient.

The final step is to ask for an introduction. While asking for referrals is always difficult, you may find it easier to ask for an introduction to a LinkedIn contact you both share. The use of LinkedIn’s InMail (another premium service) makes the process extremely easy and may result in more positive responses.

Marble illustrates the power of Sales Navigator with a screenshot of a filtered list of connections for one of his clients. He was able to identify vice presidents in the insurance industry, working for companies with 10,000 or more employees in the United States.

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