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Don’t Put Your Client’s Friendships at Risk

Man waiting for phone call

A few years ago, Eric, one of my friends, asked me to refer him to an advisor who could help him increase his life insurance.   I happened to have been working at the time with a husband-and-wife advisory team in our state, Andrea and Michael. 

Eric asked me to arrange an introduction to Andrea, who did most of the insurance, and I was happy to help. I sent an email introducing them to one another. Andrea e-mailed Eric right away, saying that she would follow up with a phone call to set an appointment with him.

Two weeks later, I mentioned Eric to Andrea in one our sessions.  She still hadn’t called him. I know that Andrea and Michael were overwhelmed—that was one of the reasons they consulted me in the first place.  But two weeks is way too long to make a referral wait. 

Andrea called Eric right after our session. He informed her that he had been unable to wait and had found someone else.  

I can’t say with certainty that Eric would have ended up working with Andrea if she had followed up right away. But her failure to get back to him impacted my relationship with him.  I mean, I work with advisors, and I sent him to someone I trusted.  What must he be thinking about the people I choose to trust?  And, if another potential referral had come along right after Eric, how could I put that person at risk for the same treatment?

We eventually got Andrea and Michael’s practice under control, and they are in a position to grow their business they were not in previously.  I wouldn’t hesitate now to send someone to them. I also explained to Eric what happened, and our relationship was not seriously impacted—although I’m sure he won’t ask me to recommend someone again.  

While this was the first time I personally experienced something like this, I’ve had many clients in the past who told me that they had received referrals from good clients and put them aside for one reason or another—sometimes for months—until they were too embarrassed to reach out.  

A referral or introduction from someone is a sacred trust—that you’ll try to help the person referred—and that you’ll reach out to them right away. 

The person making the referral is putting his relationship on the line.  Violate that trust and you could be damaging a relationship – not to mention that the person making the referral will never recommend anyone to you again.

No matter how busy you are, communicate with referrals right away.  Even if the best you can do is tell them that you won’t be able to get to them for a month, communicate that, and make sure you follow up in a month.   

If you’re aiming to build a million dollar plus business, but you’re too busy working to do the right work, book a complimentary time with me and we’ll spend a few minutes assessing whether I can help you fix that problem.

But whatever you do, KEEP REACHING


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