You know the referral drill, asking a client for names of acquaintances who might benefit from your service, area of expertise, or advice. Many financial professionals dislike asking for referrals and clients hate providing them. Research from the Oechsli Institute, revealed that asking for an introduction generates a very different response than asking for a referral, particularly with investors with household incomes of $250,000 or more.
It turns out most people are happy to provide an introduction. So what is the difference between a referral and an introduction? When asking for an introduction, you know who you would like to be introduced to. It’s more than a subtle difference. You have to have identified the person(s) you’d like to meet.
Using LinkedIn makes researching prospects a snap. Here’s a common scenario to effectively use LinkedIn to expand your network:
- Next week, you are meeting with Susan Right, a long-time client.
- Before your meeting, look up Susan on LinkedIn. If she isn’t already in your network, connect with her. For more information about connecting with clients on LinkedIn review Easy LinkedIn Secrets to Grow your Disability Income Sales.
- Once you are connected, LinkedIn will show you the people in Susan’s network. Using your desired client profile, you will be able to identify who you would like to meet.
- Maybe you’ve decided to expand your network of financial professionals. You’d like to become acquainted with Susan’s CPA and attorney. It’s not unusual for a financial advisor to ask for names of other financial professionals the client works with. Connect with the CPA or attorney via LinkedIn.
- At another client meeting, ask for an introduction. Your network now includes second level connections to other CPAs and attorneys
Here’s an important condition to maximizing your LinkedIn networking:
According to Kevin Nichols and Matt Oechsli, authors of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors, your network is most effective when you establish meaningful relationships by giving something of value to your connections. For instance, introduce people in your network who share a common interest or need. Maybe you have a client who is starting a business. You also have a connection with an attorney experienced with S-Corps. Introduce them.
Another way to be a Giver is to share via LinkedIn articles of interest to prospects. You may be aware that a client recently changed employers, send him an article about financial tips when changing employers. Include an offer to review the details of the new benefit package, opening the door for a conversation about disability insurance.
These tips are applicable for any financial professional and for most lines of business. When it comes to disability insurance, the prime market is dominated by workers between 30 years-old and 50 years-old. This group will soon consist almost entirely of millennials, who find professionals and make decisions based on social media sources liked LinkedIn.
Finding the right prospects is your first step. When you are ready to talk about the need for disability insurance, call your DIS rep. We will guide through as much or as little of the sale as you need. Also, check out our co-selling option where you manage the relationship and DIS presents the product solutions.