Why #hope Is A Terrible Strategy For Financial Advisors That Want Better Referrals

Referrals are either random acts of kindness, or, the key driver of sustainable growth. Is hope a real strategy for a #financialadvisor looking to maximize their referral business? In a word: No.

I talk to financial advisors just about every day of the week, either in direct coaching, consulting with their entire team, or, answering questions on social media (usually LinkedIn). In these conversations I still hear (way too often) the same strategy being used by these amazing professionals: Hope.

Your clients, unless you are #terribad, want to help you and are willing to do so…and probably are trying more than you realize.

YOU are the reason you aren’t getting more referrals!

Even if you just stick with ‘old school’ method of asking for referrals from everyone you meet that has a pulse…that is a better strategy than just hoping.

Are you suffering from a bad case of #hopingforreferrals?

Here are some symptoms with my responses:

  • Symptom #1: You believe that if you just keep doing a great job that you are going to automatically grow your business enough to be able to consistently be profitable and be able to invest and scale your team and operations.

My response: This is not true. I really wish it was because everything would be so simple. Here are the problems with this kind of mindset: (a) it ignores the reality of competition (b) it is incredibly passive (c) when you really need more growth because of adversity or an opportunity…you have no idea how to increase #referral volume.

  • Symptom #2: You think it is #pushy and/or #selfish to ask your clients, that are paying you for your product/service, for help.

My response: Not true (unless you are a butthead). Here are the problems with this mindset: (a) an assumption that you aren’t worth being helped (b) denying, up front, other people that research shows are almost always willing to help you, the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing that they did something that mattered and (c) you are only worth what you are paid for.

  • Symptom #3: You are scared to ask for help because you don’t know if you will receive what you asked for.

My response: True, but, you need to change. Here are the problems with this kind of fear: (a) while normal, it makes you vulnerable more than asking (b) you will never identify the people that really want to help you AND are willing and pleased to do so on a consistent basis.

I hope (lol, I couldn’t resist that one) that you are more aware of the killer disease called #hopeismystrategy when it comes to getting more and/or better referrals as a #financialadvisor or #financialplanner. Here are two action steps for you:

  1. Believe that you are worth helping. You help people all day long. Your work can alter the trajectory of generations to come through proper investing and decision making. Why shouldn’t you be worth helping. Don’t let false pride/humility stop you from using the power of transparency and vulnerability with your clients.
  2. Don’t be passive. Hope is very powerful and it, I am sure, was a major part of you making it this far in your business and it will fuel your vision and dreams. Right now, though, you need to improve and the way to do so is through action. Call up your favorite client and ask them for help. They will, in all likelihood, ask you what kind of help you need. Tell them, whether it is referrals, or, even as simple as finding out how to deliver better customer experience to that favorite client (you can always be better at that).

You are worth it and people do want to help you. Get out of your own way and allow other people to experience the same pleasure and satisfaction you do when your clients hit those milestones in their financial future because of your…help.

Need some help? The first step is having a conversation about how you have grown your practice and how you wish to grow in the future. Here is a link to get a 15 minute call with me: 15 Minutes with Mike

All the best,


Are you ready to grow consistently and profitably? There is a path to growing your financial services business that is simple, fun to execute upon and highly profitable for both individual advisors and teams of advisors.

We help firms grow through leadership and marketing consulting that designs powerful systems you and your team know will produce results and we provide the coaching and training to make those systems work better and faster. Don’t hesitate to reach out, ask to speak with a client that is already on the path, or, to just get a few questions answered. We love helping financial services professionals love their job and love their life.

How to reach me:

mike@valuesbasedmindset.com, or, 540.314.5665 (cell)