Financial adviser referrals: Your guide to referral marketing

Financial Adviser Referrals

Financial adviser referrals can help you to generate qualified warm leads, which will in time turn into more clients and revenue. 

Financial advisers who ask for referrals make more money, it’s as simple as that. 

The 2018 World Wealth Report by Capgemini found 44.4% of HNW individuals selected their financial adviser through a referral.

Referral marketing is easy to set up and can work well for your financial services business. 

Financial Adviser Referrals

This guide will explain how to use referral marketing to expand your firm.

What is a referral marketing program for financial advisers?

A referral is the act of sending someone or something to a person or place where what is wanted or needed can be obtained.

Most of the time in financial services, it means recommending your financial adviser to family and friends. 

Referral programs are when you request and track these referrals, regardless of whether you offer something in return.

Referral programs can be a great way to obtain leads

However, the referral will not be successful unless the lead has signed a contract with you and agrees to pay you for your financial services.

Why ask for referrals?

Sometimes asking for referrals can make someone embarrassed. 

Is it worth it? 

Yes! There is no reason to feel embarrassed. 

Asking for referrals has two major advantages.

  1. They can make clients feel more connected to your business. 

This is because they are actively involved in your success. 

If you have a loyal client base, you will see more referrals and repeat business.

  1. Referrals are free and don’t cost anything. 

To get new clients, you don’t have to spend money on advertising or developing an idea. 

A successful referral scheme means you don’t have to nurture the lead through the sales funnel until they are ready to commit. 

Instead, it is almost as if someone is standing at your door ready to trust you to manage their wealth. 

How to ask for referrals?

Although it may seem obvious, your existing client base is where the referrals should come from.

But how can you ask them? There are many options.

Face to Face

You can ask a client face to face whether they can refer someone after you have closed a personal meeting.

Face-to-face, asking for referrals is a powerful way to build trust. 

It shows that you are genuine and care about your company. 

Clients are more likely to listen to you when you speak directly to them.

Although it is important to ensure your relationship is well cemented before you do so.


Many financial advisers have an under utilised mailing list. 

Email marketing for financial advisers can provide brilliant results, as you probably know.

Sending your referral request by email is a great way to find new leads. 

Segment your mailing list to include only clients who have done business with your company in the past and are loyal to you.

You could also set a specific time limit, so that after someone has been a client for a year (for example), you can be notified to thank them for their business and ask for a referral. 


LinkedIn is a little more tricky, because your connections include both loyal and potential clients. 

You can ask people who have worked with you to spread the word by sending a general message. 

You can also send individual messages to clients via LinkedIn Marketing, just as you would request referrals by email.

Other social media

Social media is much more than a place where you can catch up with friends. 

It is also a place where you can grow your business. 

Similar to LinkedIn, you can also address other social media accounts. 

You can use your corporate accounts to make general posts and send messages directly to clients.

It would be wise to link a referral landing page in these messages. 

Directly from your website

A page on your financial website could be dedicated to your referral program. 

You can then link clients to your site when inviting them to recommend you. 

A common blurb about the company that addresses many of your most common questions could be added to the page. 

You can then save your clients the hassle of explaining your services by allowing them to use the text you have provided.

A great idea would be to place your “Referral Program” page next to your client testimonials.

Both referrals and testimonials are excellent ways to build social proof.

Financial Adviser Referrals

When to ask for referrals?

Referrals are as easy as knowing when and how to ask.

Asking for referrals should be a regular part of your client interactions.

So when is the best time to ask for a referral?

We recommend waiting until your client has had long enough to see results working with you, before asking them for a referral. 

Once you have completed your business or demonstrated results, thank the client and ask them if they know of any connections they could recommend to you.

It should go without saying, you should always avoid asking for a referral if you have had a bad experience with a client. 

They may refer you to someone who is just as difficult to work with. 

If your relationship with them was ever difficult or strained, they may be offended and could have a negative impact on your business via social media and reviews, rather than a positive one.

Referral marketing in financial services requires knowing who to ask and when.

Referral incentives

Incentivised referral programs work well, because everyone likes to get free stuff. 

If a client provides a referral that turns into business, you could consider giving a small gift voucher or a discount on your financial services for a specific time period.

Don’t give too much of an incentive – you want referrals to be genuine. 

Be aware of your expenses and make sure any incentive does not cost more than the potential referral business. 

Even if it is a token incentive, such as a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates, people will appreciate your acknowledgement. 

Even if you are reluctant to offer a reward to a referral, remember that small rewards, such as gift cards, can be more affordable than running an ad campaign to generate leads.

Turning a referral into a client

Financial adviser referrals are the best type of lead, since an existing client has promoted your services on your behalf. 

The referral is then already familiar with who you are and what you do. 

You have been both validated and authenticated. 

It should be the perfect opportunity to close a deal, and onboard them as a new client. 

Financial Adviser Referrals Concluded 

Financial adviser referrals are a cost-effective, efficient, and fast way to grow your business. 

We’re here to discuss all things referrals and referral marketing programmes. 

Contact us today to start your referral journey.