Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.Dan Richards

In the perfect world, every prospect who’s been given your name would immediately call you.

But the real world doesn’t work that way, something I was reminded of by a recent email from a financial advisor in Chicago named Mark about a question everyone in the industry has been asked: During a meeting, a client says, “ I gave my friend Bill your name – have you heard from him?” Of course your answer is no, you haven’t heard from Bill.

Here’s Mark’s email:

I've had a string of situations in which clients tell me they’ve given my name to friends, the best number ever. The challenge is I never hear from these prospects.

When a client tells me this, I thank them for the referral, then thank them again four weeks later and then six months out. Even if I don’t get a call, I want clients to know I appreciate them passing along my name and also hope this gives them a nudge to check with their friends, although so far I haven’t seen much in the way of results from this. What is the best way to handle those great potential connections without appearing desperate?”

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Below are three comfortable, low-pressure responses to “ Have you heard from Bill” that increase the odds of talking to your clients’ friends.

First, though, let’s understand why you don’t hear from people you’ve been referred to.

Why you don’t hear from referrals

There are several reasons that Mark hasn’t heard from the friends to whom clients referred him, all beyond his control:

The issue that prompted the referral may not have been pressing or may have been resolved.

The prospects may have gotten busy, or put contacting Mark on their to-do list and just haven’t got around to making that call.

Or perhaps they’ve had unpleasant encounters with previous financial advisors and are apprehensive about repeating this experience or being pressured by Mark, even in the face of the recommendation from their friend.

In light of this, here are three approaches you could use when clients ask if you’ve heard from their friends.