3 Great Ways for Independent Financial Advisors to Increase Client Referrals

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An integral way to bring new clients and business into your financial practice, client referrals are always welcome. We can’t get enough of ’em. But how do financial advisors get more? Are referrals hard to come by, or are they waiting out there for the next enterprising strategist? Is there more I can do than simply prospecting?

There’s no wrong way to build your referral base. (Within legal means, that is.) Here, we’ll discuss three of Impact’s typical strategies we share with our financial advisors. However, it’ll take a lot of work from scratch. I mean, it’s not like anyone can just start a client referral program, right?

Start a Client Referral Program


Varied in its approach but universal in its effectiveness, a client referral program is an incentive system for your clients to refer new business. The program can take whatever form you’d prefer, so long as it meets your needs and rewards the right behavior. A robust, responsive client referral program can quickly become a pillar of your marketing strategy.

For financial advisors, a client referral program could be a contest entry — clients who make a certain number of qualified referrals can be entered into a raffle or win tickets outright to a big event in your area. Whatever gets your current base engaged and participating works!

Financial advisors can also host their own events, exclusive to clients who have referred a predetermined number of prospects. The incentive of a luxury gala is often enough to get word of mouth going!

client referral ideas for financial advisors

Ready to get started? Our House Rules video on referral communities lays out concrete steps to start building your referral community. Even if you have a client referral program, though, it’s not like you can host an event for referrals, right?

Host an Event for Client Referrals

Oh, okay.

If you’ve been reading our blogs, you know we’re a big fan of client appreciation events. While they’re great for keeping your current clients in the loop, they’re also excellent opportunities to bring in new business.

A client appreciation event (CAE) of any stripe is an excellent opportunity to get new business in the door and turn a stranger into a satisfied client. It’s also a curated experience which provides a relaxed, no-pressure environment for those who might be interested but aren’t looking for a long sales pitch.

Creatively suggest a referral guest as a prerequisite to attend; specify in your invitation that clients need to bring a guest who could use your services. (Impact has designed invites with language like, “a referral is your ticket through the door!”)

Whatever you do with your event, make it a unique experience. An Impact advisor recently treated clients and their guests to a luxury train ride through the Appalachian countryside — what’s unique in your location (or your event-throwing repertoire) that can wow a referral? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

Now, sure, financial advisors can do these new things to bring in referrals. But it’s not like they have already-existing assets they can update…right?

Update Your Site and Make It One to Recommend

Huh. All right then. (Not that complicated, is it?)

Last month, we wrote about the importance of keeping your site fresh and up to date. Part of that importance is representing your practice in the best possible way. You can be a great financial advisor, but you can’t meet your full potential if you don’t present yourself like one.

A shabby, outdated website is going to be an obstacle for new referrals trying to learn about your business. In the best-case scenario, current clients will have to add caveats: “Trust me, they’re a great advisor, even if their website’s awful.” Why let that happen?

An informative, easy-to-navigate website shows prospective clients that you mean business! You’re ready to recognize, engage with, and serve those in your orbit. It also gives you a chance to improve on how you present yourself in person — if you have a tagline that looks great on your site, it’ll sound great as a pitch to those referrals.

The common factor across these ideas is: you! Don’t be afraid to get your name out there. It’s your most valuable asset, and the one that keeps your clients coming back.


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Stephen Odom, CEO of The Impact Partnership


Chief Executive Officer

Stephen started in the insurance marketing business in 2001 as a new business consultant. In 2002 he was promoted to Director of Sales and built a 200 million book of business from scratch. By 2005, he was one of the top wholesalers in the country, working with some of the top financial advisors and insurance agents across the USA. In 2008, Stephen was promoted to Co-President of one of the largest IMOs in the country.

In 2011, Stephen continued his entrepreneurship path and co-founded The Impact Partnership, an INC 5000 company. Stephen is responsible for the strategic vision of Impact and is laser-focused on creating a culture of growth for both internal teammates and our amazing customers.

Stephen lives in Kennesaw, GA, with his wife of more than 20 years, Kendra. They are blessed with three beautiful children Katie, Tyler, Anna Brooke, and Laya, their German Shepherd and Luna, their BernieDoodle.