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Stop Asking for Referrals: A Revolutionary New Strategy for Building a Financial Service Business that Sells Itself Hardcover – October 2, 2012


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Stop Asking for Referrals:  A Revolutionary New Strategy for Building a Financial Service Business that Sells Itself + The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071808191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071808194
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

STEPHEN WERSHING, CFP, teaches financial advisors how to attract more customers and referrals by developing more client-connected and client-driven practices. He serves as a consultant to financial practitioners on many issues, including strategic differentiation, client advisory boards, and implementing technology. In addition to writing his own blog, he is a regular contributor to Advisors4Advisors.com and financial-planning.com.


More About the Author

Stephen Wershing, CFP® wants you to know your clients want to do more for you if you will take their advice. Wershing coaches financial advisors on how to create and implement referral marketing plans. His firm, The Client Driven Practice, teaches advisors how to focus their business on what clients value most and make it the center of their communication strategy, resulting in elevated productivity, higher profitability, and dramatically increased referrals. Bob Veres, Publisher of Inside Information, calls Wershing "the best marketing mind in financial planning."

Steve entered the investment and financial planning industry in 1987. He has been COO of a national broker dealer and President of a regional BD.

Steve has authored articles for the Journal of Financial Planning on referrals and client advisory boards, and been quoted in many trade and popular publications, including Financial Planning, Investment Advisor, Financial Advisor, Investment News, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. In addition to his own blog, he is a blogger for Advisors4Advisors.com and financial-planning.com, who has dubbed him "The Referral Doctor." He has presented to industry groups including many chapters of the Financial Planning Association, FPA Business Solutions 2011, the Investment Advisor Magazine Wealth Advisor Summit, the Business and Wealth Management Conference, and the AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
Do a great job for your clients and new business will come your way.
Dan Danford
It's become an accepted industry "best practice" for financial advisors to ask for referrals to find new client and grow their business.
Russ Thornton
This is by far, the best marketing book I've ever read for the financial industry.
Sharon Pivirotto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Russ Emrick VINE VOICE on August 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Referrals are something every salesperson struggles with. On one hand we're told that it is the best way to get new business. On the other it has never seemed to work, always feels uncomfortable and no-one really does it. I could never figure out why? Now I know. "Stop Asking for Referrals" is an excellent book that will end up creating more referrals - and by that the book means qualified customers/clients who are ready to enter into a business relationship with you now.

A standard referral is really an inappropriate cold call to someone who probably doesn't need what you're selling at the now anyway. As the book points out, can you imagine a plumber calling you out of the blue and saying, "hey your bud down the street says I should call you because I just did a great deplug of his sink".

All the negatives are detailed in this book - and how to correct them. For example. Can you imagine your waiter asking you for three people's names because you had a good meal? We pay for something - that is the value exchange. It always feels slimy to ask for more. It puts people on the spot. It hurts the relationship. We love to recommend people and services that have been meaningful to our lives (look that is why we post free reviews and such isn't it) but to be put on the spot and almost extorted for them? That sucks.

Here is the essence of what Stop Asking for Referrals teaches:

"Successful referral marketing means that you have a system in place that makes sure, as best as possible, that people mention you to their friends and acquaintances and persuade them (or make them feel compelled) to call you. This means that they need to know who you're looking for and why.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Pivirotto on October 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is by far, the best marketing book I've ever read for the financial industry. While the main theme and goal of the book is to help advisors get referred, the lessons apply to all aspects of branding, prospecting, client communications, client engagement, and creating the type of business and service model that is memorable and referable.

A quote from the book that grabbed my attention was, "A referral is not something a client gives you, a referral is something he gives a friend."

The key lessons takeaways in this book (for me) include:
1) Know who serve and how you're better/different/unique compared to the market. Ensure this story is apparent in all of your marketing material.
2) An engaged client is more likely to refer so elicit their help in defining your value and improving your offering.
3) Ensure your clients can identify opportunities where referring you to their friends would make sense.
4) Be valuable enough that clients feel good about giving your name to their friends.

These are just some of the points discussed in this book, and each point goes into great detail with activities to help you apply the concepts taught in the book so you see results from implementing the strategies taught.

Out of all of the strategies advisors can employ to grow their practice, referral marketing has proven to be the most effective strategy - when done correctly. This book will help any advisor grow their business and create loyal, referral generating clients when the practices taught are applied.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ben Birken on October 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been following Stephen's blog for a while, so I was excited to hear about his book. We used much of the advice at one of our firm's recent quarterly strategic review meetings to help re-frame our ideal clients and, by extension, how to market to those clients. This is a great read for folks who are tired of banging their heads against their pages and pages of cold-call lists. There's a better way...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lee Alley on February 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I attend a lot of professional development webinars, read books, subscribe to blogs. Many of those relate to business growth through lead-flow. This fellow, Wershing, just takes a left turn where ever the crowd simply stays on course. I came away with so many changed opinions and ideas, feeling more in control, by being more realistic. I guess to sum it up, my thought is that he is describing ways to put into practice this principle: "If you have to ask, they won't answer. If you earn it consistently, they will pay dividends." The trick is the various ways to put this into practice. And I believe he does a very fine job of it, with tons of practical, implementable actions. One of the best books and educational products for my business growth I have ever found. Very highly recommend it. I expect to go back and review it a couple more times in the next few weeks.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric L on September 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is very poor. While the author attempts to shed light on strategies that could work, he completely fails to understand WHY they work. Understanding the “why” will help any successful Advisor replicate and hone the strategies for further success.
Here are some of the techniques that the author suggests:
1) Find a niche (a niche allows you to provide insight to a particular group; it’s the insight not the niche that’s important)
2) Get a client Advisory Board (for most Advisors---this is a waste of time)
3) Get an elevator speech (if you articulate your “value” in 30 seconds, you probably don’t offer much value)
4) Ask for “Advice” (unless you have a high level personal relationship with the individual; this a terrible decision that will likely undermine your professional credibility and make you look like a sleezy salesperson)
Three of these four things you should unequivocally NOT do.
Sadly the author doesn’t realize that it’s not about YOU (your niche, brand, elevator speech, blah, blah); it’s about THEM. No prospective client wants to be sold on you; they want insightful solutions to THEIR problems. (It's even more impactful if you can solve problem they didn't know they had.)
When clients receive that insight, they will certainly refer to other clients and colleagues they know have that have the same problems and issues. Further, clients generally refer not to help you….but to help the friend/colleague. This increases their social equity with the friend/colleague. Again, it’s not about the Advisor. It’s about the client.
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