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Referrals rarely turn into advice business: poll

The poll of 1163 consumers in the UK, conducted by international research firm Adviser Impact, found that recommendations by 90 per cent of clients did turn into concrete introductions for advisers.

The study also found that clients who recommended their adviser typically told more than one person about the service they received.

Julie Littlechild, chief executive of Adviser Impact, said that the vast majority of advisers never hear about this potential business because clients “simply do not refer well”.

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She added: “Clients do not really make a compelling case for the friend or family member to follow up but this research shows there is an incredible amount of untapped referral potential out there.”

Ms Littlechild said also said there was a “significant gap” between client satisfaction, which was high at 82 per cent among the respondents, and likelihood of making further referrals.

Of those who did not make referrals, 47 per cent said it was because they were uncomfortable talking about their finances with friends and family, compared with 18 per cent who were not happy with the service they received.

Adviser comment

Steve Billingham, owner of West Sussex-based Steve Billingham Consulting, said: “Advisers do not always like to push ourselves forward. A good time to discuss referrals might be when a client offers great feedback, or during a discussion about what clients really value about the service they are receiving. Advisers can then ask clients if they know anybody who might also benefit from that same service.”