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Asking for referrals

Matt Pais

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When not asking impacts a referral, a friendship and a future

It is hard to ask for more than a great client who is a strong believer in both you and the benefits provided by the work you do.

However, Shannon Thompson, CFP, learned a valuable lesson about the degree to which referrals expect you to provide the same experience to their friend that you gave to them.

Unfortunately, it happened because Thompson, a seven-year MDRT member from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was referred by a client who strongly believed in insurance to an emergency room doctor who only wanted to talk about investments. So Thompson obliged and focused only on investments, not any type of insurance protection.

One month later, Thompson’s phone rang.

“How much insurance did he buy?” Thompson’s client wanted to know about his doctor friend. Thompson explained that the doctor hadn’t wanted to talk about insurance, so they didn’t.

The client hung up.

So Thompson called his client’s wife, who told him that the doctor, his client’s best friend, was in an accident and died on the way to the hospital.

The result of not having the necessary conversation about insurance was that the doctor’s wife was left with far less money than she needed after his death.

“My client asked me to do something I didn’t do,” Thompson said. “Even though the guy didn’t want to talk about it, it makes you think about things differently and do things differently the next time.”


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