Here are 4 Failures Financial Planners Tend to Forget (Which is Suicide for Being Referable)

If you have studied hard to pass your CFP® exam and worked for years as a financial planner, and you might even have launched your financial planning service, but without the success you dreamed of, I’m sure you’ve been frustrated. I sure have, and I still am once in a while.

The worst part is that there doesn’t seem to be a straightforward explanation as to why you failed.

Sure, it could be a flaw in your financial planning service itself or the pricing or even the design. But more likely than not, the failure goes unexplained.

However, have you considered these four reasons why your financial planning service failed?

Via: All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All

1.  No one noticed financial planning

2.  People noticed it but decided they didn’t want to try financial planning

3.  People tried it but decided not to keep using financial planning

4.  People liked it but didn’t tell their friends about financial planning

Now, these failures are NOT your fault.


Well, please read further.

Why didn’t anyone notice your financial planning service?

Because they weren’t looking.

They weren’t looking because there was too much to look at and not enough time to take it all in. For years and years people have been brainwashed by the financial services industry to believe in……….. the financial product.

The billboard said: “Low mortgage rate and great service.”

The advertisement said: “Think no one’s lending? Think again”

The banner said: “Free iPad at mortgage closing.”

The commercial said: “It’s your money. Invest it wisely.”

The effect of this product-push-tactic is that most of your clients now have a very simple default frame: if it’s not remarkable or exceptional, ignore it. If you are selling your financial planning service by focusing on the product, your client’s default frame is: decline.

Making your financial planning service better doesn’t help. Because most people won’t bother noticing it. However, there might be a few who do notice.

Which leads to the second failure.

Why didn’t those who noticed it, try it?

They were “just looking”.

It’s the way people surf the net. They rarely click on anything. Rarely stay on a website for long.

However, there are lots of people who are dying to try your financial planning service. Those who are tired of the product-pushing. Tired of the disappointment of dealing with someone who doesn’t really care about them.

These are the people you need to seek out with your story. At least at first.

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Why didn’t they become loyal clients?

While those people may have tried your service, they didn’t come back for more. The very same bias that pushed them to try your financial planning service is pushing them to try someone else’s tomorrow.

So tell me, did you deliver a financial product or did you deliver a feeling of caring?

Your service grows when it makes people feel that you are the answer to their prayers. However, there can only be growth when people tell their friends, though.

Why didn’t they tell their friends?

Why are voters uncomfortable recommending a political candidate to a stranger?

Why don’t people ask their friends to give money to their favorite charity?

I believe the answer to these questions are the same as to why people don’t refer your financial planning service. And it has nothing to do with trust, fee, service, your experience, or qualifications. In fact, it isn’t about you at all.

Instead, it’s all about them.

Your clients.

It’s all about people’s bias about what they feel comfortable sharing- and not sharing. Sure, it’s easy to share a funny youtube video. But how does your client feel about sharing a financial planning service?

Now, you can whine about this. Or you can find a way to deal with this.

And I’m going to help you deal with this. For free.

If you want to know how I would like to ask you this. Would you be so kind to tell me:

What Are People’s Reasons for Not Referring Your Financial Planning Service to Their Friends?

Please, answer this question by leaving your comment – here below in the comment section – and you’ll receive The Logical Truth About Why People Don’t Refer Your Financial Planning Service and What to Do About It.

You’ll receive a free PDF where I really go into depth about the What To Do About It – part. 

Thank you for your comment.

Let’s make financial planning matter.


Are You a Financial Planner? Do You Want to Know Why People Don't Buy Financial Planning?

If you want to boost your financial planning skills, you don't want to miss this free email course.

Just fill in your best email here below, and you'll receive the first lesson right into your inbox.


Leave a Reply 157 comments

Joan Birdsell Reply

I don’t think most clients know their friends financial situation well enough to identify them as prospects for me.

Jeffrey Reply

Clients will only refer if they think their friends need help

Jeffrey Reply

Clients are not on the look out for prospects

Matthias Böhmelt Reply

It’s really a matter of trust and gratefulness to get a recommendation. I am thankful for every client who recommends me.

Dennis Edel Reply

Good points and I enjoy your commentary. I have had the odd referral here and there, and generally from clients you wouldn’t expect. My opinion is you shouldn’t have to ask for referrals (personally I have experienced that from a hard sales air con guy – suffice to say he was exited quickly), but you should create an atmosphere of wanting to help people, help their friends and family, and be trusted to. I am a firm believer in that if you give good service, advice and care, then the results will follow themselves. I’m not going to refer any of my friends or colleagues to an adviser (in any profession) if I don’t feel they will get a good experience. So in essence, I think people don’t refer due to a fear of getting it wrong, or not trusting their Adviser sufficiently.

Michael Smith Reply

1) We work in a high-trust business. We’re not selling dry cleaning services, window blinds, or lawn maintenance. If one of their friends has a bad experience, it could ruin a relationship for life. A dry cleaner damaging a sweater is not going to ruin a relationship. Referrals to an advisor is high-risk proposition in their minds, and probably not worth it even if you’re a good advisor. Not to mention, talk of money is a VERY personal matter even for the closest of friends and family.
2) When a client does try to refer they can experience rejection. “Well, I have a person that does for me”. “I have a great guy too.” Or whatever. No one wants to feel rejected so they don’t refer.
3) Client may believe it’s not their job to help grow your business. In their minds they might be thinking, “Hey, aren’t we paying you enough? You mean we need to help you grow your business on top of paying you? They’re not going to say it out loud. They just won’t refer. The book “Stop Asking for Referrals” discusses this topic in detail.
4) Unless a person is going through a life-changing event such as retirement, divorce, changing jobs, etc. then likely client the will not be able to think of anyone to refer, thus making the conversation uncomfortable and awkward
5) Some people are just natural referrers. We get most of our referrals repeatedly from the same clients

Thomas Abel Reply

As always ronald, you are raising the right questions! Keep going! 🙂

Wil Huizinga Reply

Goodmorning Ronald,

I struggled with the same problem. Feedback Marketing (Dan Allison) has enabled me to look at my practice in a totally different light. . . I finally understand that to know what my prospects want from me, all I have to do is ask them.
Kind regards, Wil

Daniel Reply

Many don’t refer because they are not comfortable to talk about anything to do with money issues with people close to them.

Barb Reply

They don’t refer their friends mainly because I am afraid to ask for a referral. I would love to get better at this.

Kent Reply

I believe because discussing money and wealth with friends is not really the done thing and they don’t want to lose face if they have a bad experience.

Stuart Brown Reply

Some clients want to keep you all to themselves as well.
Others feel their friends “can’t afford you.”
Others only think from within their own circumstances, “oh, bill isn’t in my position, so doesn’t need advice.”
Others need to see you’re reliable for a year or two before offering you up.

I try to explain at the end of the day I am a business and I need to grow so would love to help other people just like you.
I also explain that I want to focus fully on clients and if they can help me then its a win win.

Lots of interesting ideas in the comments, basically we need to ask and not by embarrassed.
I asked one client how he would explain to his friends when he was debt free why he didn’t mention me earlier. He couldn’t answer.

Allistar Walker Reply

Many of us have an innate reluctance to ask for referrals. Clients have that same innate reluctance to give out names, in case there is a downside to their relationship. Good service is one thing, being relateable is another. Also sometimes there needs to be something in it for some people. While I fall into the category of hating to ask for referrals, I try to build that expectation in clients from the time I first meet them, but don’t ask directly. I want to know what makes them tick, why they came to me, even if I know they were referred and what they expect from me. I too would like more referrals, as that is the only way I bring in new business now. The client does have to see value, but clients also often forget, once the deal is done, seeing you as just a cog in the chain of their progress.

Mark Fenton Reply

Some people feel it’s too intrusive to get involved in their friend’s financial matters.

Kathy Reply

I have had several clients say they tell their friends they should use me and they are disappointed by their friend’s apathy. I always say when they have a problem and are complaining that will be when they will get in touch. So I have started taking the approach that most people won’t go for a check up they wait until the car warning light comes on or they have the tooth ache. Same with making the most of your money. If it feels Ok why bother? When your friend is having a tough time or is worried or life changed that the time he will listen.

Don Nicol Reply

It\’s scary talking money with friends. The vulnerability they feel leads many people to stretch the truth of their financial expertise and success. Hence, there is trepidation about referring friends to someone who knows the truth about their finances.

Joel Reply

Hi Ron, in my opinion, most folks receive a so-so experience. My dentist, Doctor, and insurance agent all provide a decent service, but it\’s nothing remarkable. If someone asks me who I use, I\’ll tell them, but I don\’t go shouting it from the rooftops because it\’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Abbasali Mava Reply

Lack of value addition because financial planning is not just number game.

Michal Bodi Reply

Hey Ron,

In my experience, the most common reason why clients don\’t refer is that they never talk about money problems with others and they assume their friends are already looked after by someone. They don\’t realise that the vast majority of people is lost and would appreciate a helping hand they can trust.

Gary Watts Reply

I believe that the overwhelming reason that advisors don\’t get referrals is because we don\’t ask. Or when we do ask, we do it such a way as to make the client uncomfortable.

Tracy Sherwood Reply

They are uncomfortable talking about personal finances with others; too private and personal.

Wayne Smith Reply

I agree with all of the above.

LMJ Reply

Because they do not truly see the added value. They have just bought another product and not a solution to help them on their journey

Jeff L Reply

Once our clients can articulate our value, they realize we provide a valuable service

Bronwyn Reply

Because we feel afraid or embarrassed to ask for referrals to a degree, at the risk of sounding \’desperate\’!

Anthony Mitry Reply

It\’s too personal !!!

Bhasskar Prakaash Reply

The one of the most important reason I think, for not referring me to other people, could be that they might have not seen any value in my service that I am offering.

S Reply

Because we don\’t ask with conviction

Shane Reply

We spend a lot of time asking people questions and get quite good at making sure our questioning technique is consistent and repetitive. One of things Advisers (including me) are not regular and consistent about – is asking people for referrals.

Phil Evans Reply

In my opinion, people don\’t refer for two main reasons……..

Firstly, the person being referred to may think that he is being lined up for a sales call, and secondly, the good performance or other wise of the adviser will reflect directly upon the person referring him.

Rupakumar Pradhan Reply

They are fearful or risking their own reputation on someone else.

dan tan Reply

Client feels that the benefit to the other person has nothing to do with them

John Sharp Reply

I think I get few referrals because I don\’t make clients feel comfortable giving referrals. I think most referral scripts make clients feel obligated, idebted, uncomfortable.

Ed Johns Reply

Limited upside
Unlimited downside
Why risk a relationship with a friend?

Beau Reply

I hesitate to request referrals from friends because I do not want to affect my friendship. I know that my service is a good service. I know that my service will help people. But there seems to be a stigma about friendship and business. I want to be able to call my friend over for fun and not have him be reluctant due to the fact that I may bring up business. Also, I am not in control of the corporation\’s performance. I promise quality service, but the corporations 800 number may not evoke the same service I promise.

Jeff Lido Reply

They don\’t refer because they do not want to be responsible if their friends/family suffer a loss right away. The 2008/2009 downturn has many overly fearful.

Herko Reply

Evening Ronald,
My guess (I never asked my clients…) is that they don\’t make a referral mostly because I don\’t ak them to, so it\’s safe and easy to do not. And yes, people talk easier about going to a movie or a restaurant rather than going to a financial planner.

John Bloomfield Reply

I think money and sex are the two personal things that most people don\’t like to talk about so making a referral for a financial planner/adviser is a very personal thing to do.

People worry what will be inferred about them by making the referral.

About 85% of my business is referral but what I have found is people don\’t refer just people who could use my service they refer people in near identical circumstances to their own.

Looking forward to the PDF

Marc Reply

Usually, the client does not feel comfortable giving recommendations with regards to financial advice. They deem this too private and too personal…

James Reply

With the collapse of many fraudulent investment schemes as of late, clients do not want to refer an advisor that may or may not recommend an investment that goes belly up. There is a risk the client will be blamed for recommending the advisor who recommended the bad investment. Reputational risk leads to fewer referrals.

Ian Reply

I don\’t have a consistent process which explains why referral is to everyone\’s benefit

VP.Thanga Reply

The clients did not refer due to their habit. So we have to highlight to them. Generally, if you have solved their pressing issues then they will definitely refer their friends and family members to you.

paul Reply

People don\’t refer others because of fear. They think that if they say to someone that they are getting help it\’s an indictment of their own abilities. People want to portray a sense of control over important matters, it\’s the same reason people will go broke before seeking help themselves. People don\’t give referrals for the same reason they don\’t ask for recommendations.

Eric Reply

Who I want to serve has not been properly communicated.

Edwin Reply

Financial planning service itself is something intangible and it\’s not easy for them to relate to it let alone share it with others compare to a tangible product.

Duncan Wilson Reply

Clients are too proper and too British. They feel it is stepping over a boundary to get into a detailed discussion about actual financial planning and their own experiences from a positive perspective. Conversely, they will talk about a good/successful product they purchased, although I agree that this is not the way to market financial advice.

Ronel Cronje Reply

My biggest problem is that I haven\’t worked out a comfortable way to ask for referrals yet. It still feels like begging to me most of the time.

kylie Reply

There are defiantly a few reasons but main one is they don\’t feel that you provided the service they expected, therefore why would they refer someone else.
You haven\’t shown them the value of what you have done
You have asked them for a referral but not told them how you can help others and given them examples of how you can help.

Daniel Claudio Reply

My \”elevator pitch\” still needs to be improved. I want to be able to provide a short and convincing \”story\” about my added value to the customer. If this \”story\” is simple and convincing, the happy customer will be in the position to tell it to whom may be interested.
Probably, the \”story\” will be easier to be told, when the message is positive (less focussed on the problem, more on the desired state).

Em Reply

Because they don\’t know how to tell their friends to come on board.

Todd Reply

Money in society is a taboo subject, just like religion and politics. They don\’t feel that it\’s their place to recommend a financial planner as other people\’s finances are private.

Tom Reply

Do they feel heard, understood? Does meeting with me make them feel like they\’ve done some good things, or do they feel stupid because of financial mistakes? Have I created an experience for them that makes them feel good about what they\’ve done, and what they have to look forward to?

James Reply

Clients sometimes fear that if the person they refer looses financially after advice from a financial planner it may have a permanent negative affect on their friendship. Don\’t risk it so better not to refer!!!

Giovanni Reply

People refer only when they see demonstrated knowledge, advice and a sense that you really care about them.

Matt Reply

Because, like you, they are busy people and so forget to refer colleagues & friends to you……so simply remind them……and often!

Robert Reply

Because I did not ask them

Robbie Reply

Often I believe it is because clients can\’t adequately express the benefits they get from financial planning, so don\’t feel confident enough to articulate the value that comes from the relationship

Ellen Reply

People don\’t refer because they are afraid that a negative mpression will reflect back on them.

Knofje Reply

Because their heart was not touched, so they did not open their heart to me and everything I wrote.
So I am the one to blame….

Jeff Grodsky Reply

They don\’t refer because they don\’t understand it and procrastinate.

Richard Reply

People are very private when it comes to their finances and seem to protect their information, including their financial representative.

jim Reply

They don\’t refer because they are struggling with doing the \”right\” thing themselves and are putting off decisions until they are forced to react.

Theo Reply

Much too often we \”forget\” to ask our clients and they, the clients are a little bit afraid or careful to recommend because they not sure about whther the relationship is also going to work for their friends or family. But on the other hand we still get new clients bij referal.

Kevin Reply

We hear from many, many, many clients that they have indeed referred our services to friends and family. They have provided our phone number and other contact info. But we seem to get very few contacts from those people. My guess is that no matter how much someone knows they need our services, the bottom line is that \’life gets in the way\’ and they just don\’t get around to contacting us.

Eric B. Soiland Reply

They aren\’t being reminded by me that I can give others the same great service I I\’ve them and not to keep me a secret.

Chris Reply

People won\’t usually recommend financial services because, where I\’m from, finances are considered an off-limits topic

Dennis Reply

Two reasons being that I don\’t ask often enough and secondly because I don\’t ask often enough. When completing a client survey most said they would but they don\’t. Why?? I don\’t ask often enough!


Marsha Reply

I have one client that makes referrals often. She is a good money manager, very frugal and excited about saving. She is an exception to the rule. A lot depends on the financial personality of the clients and how comfortable they are to discuss financial matters.

Michael Reply

I\’ve found the number one reason is we don\’t ask. I once gave ten cards to a client who had received a payout and told him to brag about me to his mates. I helped 10 of his mates with the same problem

Steph Reply

Sometimes people just don\’t know how to approach it. First they need to be thinking about it, then recognise the need for it, then make the effort to bring it into conversation, then follow up. It could be that a Referal was made without the referrer passing on the planners details and or referree actually calling the planner when they said they would. I think the key is keeping it front of mind for clients and offer then an incentive to refer.

PJ Mandap Reply

Because it\’s not like a restaurant or a shop where customers get immediate results or instant gratification.

Scott Thompson Reply

I receive multiple referrals. It\’s all in the value the client perceives their friends and family will get if they refer to you. It\’s emotional, not results driven.

rg sherrill Reply

I don\’t ask. Shame on me

Elissa Reply

People don\’t refer because they don\’t want to be blamed or ruin a relationship if their referral has a bad experience with you. There is too much risk so people choose not to go out on a limb.

Lou Batmale Reply

I am beginning to ask for referrals but I think people in general do not like to talk about money.

Cameron Reply

Plenty of clients say that they tell their friends and refer, but this rarely seems to translate into a newly referred client. It would seem that the message they are delivering to their friends is not enough of a motivator?

Sarah Reply

One client consistently refers me to her friends, family and work colleagues – I think she does this more than other clients because she feels so engaged with her plan and she\’s a lovely open person who is not concerned by admitting she has a planner. Other clients personalities are more reserved, and like to keep their finances to themselves

Michel Reply

Maybe people don\’t like to talk about their financial \”problems\” with friends and family?
I lately started to ask for referals in social media.

Wil Huizinga Reply

Reasons that people not referring your financial planning service to their friends, because we don\’t tell stories and we deliver the usual expected services they wanted.

Anand Doctor Reply

One\’s attitude towards financial planning is similar to one\’s attitude towards maintaining good health. People remember the doctor only when there are symptoms of bad health.
Clients refer their friends to me when they see them facing an important financial problem/decision.

Steena Reply

People are nervous that their financial planner is useless and they are stuck in a ponzi scheme unknowingly.

Tim Reply

I think that people have to show te result, without showing there financials. Maybe it\’s possible to add a presentation with pictures and no numbers.

David Reply

People often don\’t want to get involved. It keeps their lives simpler.

Brian Fricke Reply

People only refer if it will help their friend. If they don\’t see how we can help their friend, they won\’t be able to refer. And like it or not, some people just aren\’t wired to refer at all.

Tony Reply

Most people are private when it comes to money & do not want to mix matters like that into their relationships.

Patrick Reply

I think people are becoming more reserved / conservative in offending others. By referring services the referrer risks any bad thoughts the receiver may have about the referred person, their services, industry, etc. That bad vibe is what referrers try and stay away from.

Ed Strickling Reply

Referring is risky

Wayne Reply

I agree with all of the above!

Jill Reply

I agree with many of the comments above. Unless the topic of finances/financial planning comes up when speaking with a friend, an individual is not going to step over that line and proactively bring up finances with a friend. I think when asked by a friend if they know of a good financial planner, your client will refer then.

chetan Reply

we don\’t ask

Jyoti E Reply

They\’re uncomfortable because they feel they may look like salesmen.

marc Reply

They do not refer because there is no opportunity to do so.

Bill c Reply

Many of my clients are very private about their financial affairs and don\’t want to share information.

Sanjeev Reply

People say they don’t feel comfortable referring anyone since if I don\’t measure up, their reputation will be hurt.

Reine Reply

they are scared to

Rutvij Reply

I guess because of that sick mentality which people had build from ages.
You must have noticed, people who having financial crunches in their past life, would be more interested in financial planning.
Or those who know the value of financial planning.
So that is what we need, either let them fail or take courage to make them understand and notice.

Simon Reply

In the UK people are shy about complaining – praising and referring. We have to give them the confidence that its OK to do all 3.
Generally we have to ask them for referrals and encourage them to provide the information there and then – if you leave then it may only rarely happen. Re-iterate your services and how you get paid and reinforce the positive of your service. Using a restaurant analysis its not just the food that makes a great evening but the ambiance the service and the overall experience. People then refer quite freely.

Richard Taylor Reply

Because its a private, personal and sensitive topic and financial advisers don\’t have great reputations where I\’m based (Dubai)

mark Reply

We need to provide exceptional service to make them want to refer.

Derek Reply

I generally find it\’s more likely to be the female clients who are more willing to refer. I\’m guessing this is because they care about their friends and not because they\’re turned on by financial products.

James R. Reply

Hi Ronald, love your blog.

I believe it\’s as simple as clients not knowing that we want (need) referrals to keep our business running. I work for a large bank as a planner and it\’s a part of the banks role to have a line of people at my door, but they may not be ideal clients. Client referrals are generally good clients as they have been pre-qualified by your existing great clients. I\’d much prefer to have client referrals than bank referrals – now to find the time to see them both!

Nick Reply

It\’s because we don\’t always provide a frame of reference. In asking to be referred to a friend we inadvertently may be providing too much choice, which in turns make it harder for our client to identify an \’appropriate\’ person to refer.

Rein Teune Reply


Sandra McGuire Reply

People don\’t talk about their financial situation with friends or family as it is private or greedy to talk about money.

Chandan Singh Padiyar Reply

Either they are not sure or they don\’t want their Friends to be successful too

Steve Reply

Because finances are a sensitive subject and we are British!

Peter Reply

Maybe they don\’t want to admit to their friends that they had to use someone to help them with their own finances, maybe a pride thing.

Robert Terry Reply

They are probably not sure that it would be suitable for their friends. Or maybe that they don\’t want people to know they use a financial planner for some reason!

Vic Reply

Because I never ask clients for referrals.

Martyn Reply

Hi Ronald, Great article!

People will only refer if they truly believe in you and the service you provide. It\’s not about the PRODUCT, in fact clients are not really interested in which pension is best or this fund or that fund is giving the best returns.

I\’ve found that they want to maintain or get a better lifestyle and ensure that they enjoy it without ever running out of money. You do that with proper financial planning, listening to your clients, being genuinely interested in them and what they wants in life (life planning). Then you design a cashflow based financial plan (financial planning). And finally if products are needed to ensure the plan succeeds you then advise (financial adviser).

Using this model (its a great experience for the client) you get paid for the plan and products if needed. You also get great referrals.

Andreas Reply

The message of a financial plan is too personal in order to share it with friends. There is a risk friends might have an insight into the own financial situation.

lilibeth viaplana Reply

they are afraid to refer beause they do not know how to present the concept

matthew stevens Reply

I think it\’s a British thing not to refer. Those clients who do refer me really appreciate what I\’ve done for them so I guess it\’s about impressing clients and showing you care and can be trusted.

Mike Reply

People are embarrassed to show an outward interest in other peoples wealth, especially by recommending their financial planner to them.

Jake Reply

Even if you are actively asking for referrals, I think the planner is such a personal advisor, like a therapist, that people might not want to share that role with another person in their life.

Joseph van Tonder Reply

People don\’t feel comfortable talking about their finances. They did not expierence value.

Blake Reply

I rarely ask.

Chris Reply

1. I don\’t have a referral process built into my financial planning process
2. I don\’t make it easy for them (recently saw a referral card that seemed like a good idea)
3. They would probably struggle to articulate the valeu they received and therefore, might be reluctant to discuss with potentail referrals.

Charles Ndibe Reply

Getting referred business I feel is an art that a lot of people take for granted. I think getting people to refer is something that starts with the way we treat our clients and their honest opinions as to how we might treat their friends/families etc.
There are different avenues I am trying to enhance this aspect in my business.

. Bhuvana Reply

They don\’t refer because they don\’t know I am seeking to be referred. They think I am quite busy and doing well anyways (which though is not true)

christian Reply

They don\’t talk about financial planning with their friends.

Justin Reply

I think they don\’t refer because it feels risky.

Craig Reply

Clients may have got a positive outcome working with you but are nervous about referring just in case their friends get a poor outcome. The consequences of referring a planner compared to a restaurant can be quite different!

Mike Leffler Reply

They\’re afraid that their friend may not have a good experience with the advisor that they recommend. Therefore, it could damage their relationship with their friend.

Jason Reply

Perhaps the adviser has not adequately expressed the value they have delivered and the client doesn\’t fully understand the value received. I\’ve seen plenty of unguided, non advised clients who have made poor financial decisions and seen the impact this has on their lives. Clients who have an adviser are significantly better off both financially and emotionally e.g in health and relationships etc. However, it takes time for clients to recognize the value and fully appreciate the value of advice.

Digby Reply

Some clients like to keep their personal and financial lives separate from their friends

Tyler Reply

I believe the number one reason people don\’t refer is because we don\’t ask. I\’m constantly surprised with the amount of referrals I get when I ask consistently and have a process to it. Invariably there are people who will never refer but I think they are the minority if we just ask and do it genuinely.

Mike Davis Reply

The client assumes that there already is a capable planner in place, thus, why recommend something that already is in use?

Harvey Reply

I think its a combination of the social risk of it not working for their friends and the advisers skill in asking for referrals.

JR Reply

Unlike the electrician, plumber, party planner, etc, we don\’t create an immediate tangible result. Clients don\’t always know our value for years.

Shaun Reply

Because I don\’t always ask.

Rob Watson Reply

They are fearful or risking their own reputation on someone else. What we do is largely intangible so it is hard for them to stake their reputation on it.

Brendon Reply

They don\’t know how we can help because they don\’t have transparency other people\’s financial situations

Brian Reply

They tend to think that their family and friends are better off than them and do not need advice.

Drew Reply

Some clients feel their friends are not as advanced as they might be in financial matters so they keep their own cards close to their chest.

dazza Reply

The best client referrals come where there is a deep and meaningful connection between client and adviser that is beyond money, someone who truly listens, understands and provides guidance.

Scott Reply

Financial matters are private matters and people don\’t readily speak about what they are up to in fear of being \’behind the joneses\’ and if they do speak it is often what they have done not what help they have had.

James Reply

Because there is too much at stake referring to a Planner you are not absolutely convinced about

Karen Reply

I think its because its a long term relationship that they are recommending. Money is very personal. They don\’t like to be blamed either when the markets are volatile and their friends panic when markets go south.

Sean Hinson Reply

they don\’t like to talk about finances

Robert Blanusa Reply

My company is new and my clients would like to see the results before referring me to their friends/family.

Joel Reply

Privacy. A lot of folks are just private about their affairs. Money, sex, religion, you just don\’t talk about some things in polite conversation.

And clients place themselves in a vulnerable position when they refer. It\’s a risk/reward proposition: There\’s a lot of downside (their friends hold them responsible if they have a bad experience relative to what they\’re already using), with very little upside (they get a thank-you from the advisor?).

James Reply

I believe that most people who will not refer, fear the friendship/relationship may be in jeopardy if the friend they refer is not happy with the service provided to them even if they were.

Kim Reply

I\’m not sure – I have never asked them – maybe that is my problem?

Greg Reply

Money is a subject that individuals aren\’t always comfortable discussing with friends/family/associates. So it may not be natural for them to raise the topic and suggest the referral…my impression is that clients refer when asked \”Do you have an adviser\”, or \”what do you do about ….\” this leads to a reactive referral which is less frequent than what would be achieved from a proactive referrer .

Al Reply

They dont want to boast about their own financial situation

Alan B Reply

I only recently discovered that one way to get clients to refer people to me is to ask them to do so – \”you\’re happy with my service, solutions and products? Do you have any friends or colleagues who would also be happy like you are with my service solutions and products?\”

I\’ve trebled my referral rate in 3 months.

Mark Reply

In my country we do seem to have a cultural bias that makes gaining referrals harder than it should be.

Ryan Reply

They feel out of control of that relationship and money is deeply emotional for most folks.

Sean Reply

People say I don\’t feel comfortable referring anyone. They can\’t really explain it. They have no trouble referring a restaurant or movie.

Ron Reply

Some people may not wish to refer until they have seen results themselves..

    Franz Reply

    I believe, the people recommend a restaurant more easily because the benfit is more obviously. Financial planning is non-haptic, therefore they wait for result (of the products) and do not esteem the process of financial planning.

Gareth Reply

Because they don\’t know details of their friends financial affairs so don\’t know if their FP would be suitable. It is only when there is an honest discussion about money that referrals flow.

A. Wayne Potter Reply

If they don\’t refer me it\’s usually because I haven\’t made it easy for them to do so.

    lilibeth Reply

    People want to see results before they recommend a planner. Also, most financial planners focus on product and not the clients needs, a lot of clients are literally forced into buying a product by very cunning and manipulative salespeople masquerading as financial planners

    lilibeth Reply

    People want to see results before they recommend a planner. Also, most financial planners focus on product and not the clients needs, a lot of clients are literally forced into buying a product by very cunning and manipulative salespeople masquerading as financial planners

    lilibeth Reply

    People want to see results before they recommend a planner. Also, most financial planners focus on product and not the clients needs, a lot of clients are literally forced into buying a product by very cunning and manipulative salespeople masquerading as financial planners

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