What type of person do you trust the most: The one who leads by example and does what they say they’ll do? Or the one who says emphatically, “Dude, just trust me”? Trust is earned through action, follow through, and doing what you say you’re going to do. We think referrals are earned the same way. We shouldn’t simply expect to get them from our clients by asking; we need to earn them.
With that in mind, our approach to the referral game is to fully inform our clients as to what happens when they have a friend or family member that could benefit from our services. Here are answers to the Top 5 questions you might have regarding P&A and how we handle referrals:
Does P&A have the capacity to take on new clients?
Yes. We take great pride in the service level we provide to our clients. We cross-train all of our staff and put a lot of time and effort into enhancing efficiencies. This allows us to take on new clients while maintaining the same high level of service to existing clients. In fact, the more clients we take on the more situations we are exposed to, which gives us a cross-section of scenarios to draw from when offering advice.
What kind of clients are you looking for?
Although we do have account minimums, account size isn’t the sole characteristic of a great client. We have found that the most fruitful relationships are the ones where there is a shared vision, a constant desire to communicate, and a desire by the client to delegate the responsibility of managing their investment portfolio. If people of means want our help, we want to provide it to them.
What if I refer someone to you that does not fit your ideal client profile but who really needs help?
If you know someone that needs our help but doesn’t have the assets to warrant an ongoing relationship, we will still help them. If investment advice is what they seek, we will set them up with a self-directed brokerage account at Charles Schwab, advise them on initial investment strategies, ensure that they are on the right path and then send them on their way. No strings attached and no charge from us. It is worth our time to help those whom our clients care about.
How will you let me know if the referral I gave to you has been taken care of?
We take client confidentiality very seriously and do not discuss client or prospective client matters outside the walls of our office or with non-P&A employees. However, we do feel that it is important to update clients on referrals they deliver as well as to thank them.
How should I make the connection?
We are not shy, but there is a fine line between being proactive and pushy. We strive hard for the former. If you have someone that may be interested, send us their email. We will send a subtle introductory email, with some high-level information about our firm, and leave the ball in their court to respond.
Over the years, we have grown our client and asset base a great deal through client referrals. Thank you for the trust you’ve shown in P&A by telling your friends and family about us. We will work hard every day to justify that trust.