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Episode Summary

There are certain business development strategies in financial advice that have come and gone.

Door-knocking, cold-calling, seminars.

And, there are other strategies that yield inconsistent results.

COI relationships, networking, lists of friends/families, digital marketing.

But, there’s one strategy for growing an advisory business that has never wavered and works for everybody.


In fact, look at these results from a study at

psychology of referrals

There is only one marketing/business development strategy that ranks in the Top 5 for popularity, client acquisition cost, average revenue/client, and efficiency.

Once again…it’s referrals.

Client referrals are the single best business development strategy that exists for advisory firms.

Yet, the research shows that advisors should receive approximately 96 referrals for every 100 clients!

A number that no advisory firm is even close to.

And, that’s likely because most advisors approach referrals with this mentality:

“I’m going to serve my clients well, take great care of them, and naturally they’ll want to refer me every one they know!”

As Dan Allison points out, most advisors don’t have a shortage of clients who are willing to refer.

They have a shortage of clients capable of executing a referral.

In other words, there’s a gap between your client’s willingness and ability to refer.

In order to bridge this gap, Dan relied on his background in clinical and behavioral psychology and interviewed thousands of clients to better understand the psychology of getting more referrals.

Imagine being able to get inside the minds of your clients to better understand:

  • What they think about referrals
  • How they feel about referring
  • How they prefer you to bring it up with them
  • The barriers that prevent them from referring

That’s exactly what Dan found out.

Armed with this information, Dan then designed a process for advisors that creates clients that are both willing and able to refer.

Things You’ll Learn

  • The 5 characteristics for creating clients that are willing and able to refer
  • The most common mistakes advisors make when asking for referrals
  • A comfortable way to bring up the referral conversation
  • How to ensure you actually get a referral when a client hands out your information
  • The #1 reason clients say they don’t refer
  • Goldmines vs Landmines: How to identify the clients you want referrals from
  • An annual process designed to elicit feedback and generate more referrals
  • How to effectively communicate you have capacity
  • The referral mindset you have to have as an advisor

About Dan Allison

Dan Allison is the Chief Growth Officer of Model FA, where he works with advisors and planners to fuel growth in their business through referrals.

But, he approaches referrals in a completely different way. He draws from his background in clinical and behavioral psychology to first understand what’s going on inside the minds of clients. And, once you know that, you can remove any barriers or friction in the process and generate more referrals.

Other Episodes You’ll Like On The Psychology of Business Development


Dan Allison – LinkedIn

Model FA

The Psychology of Referrals (Part I) with Dan Allison

One Page Sheet of Services (PDF)

The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy by Ed Keller and Jon Berry


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  1. HSOA Masterclass: An 8-week group program on building trust & connection, aligning money and life, and delivering frictionless advice.
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If you want more information on any of these, let me know here.