The professional contacts every advisor should have

Advisors are hired and given a license to discuss at-length, a topic that for most people, is a pretty touchy one—money. As a result, clients often grow comfortable expressing other problems, issues or stresses they’re facing. How do you respond in those situations? Do you guide the conversation back to their financial world, or do you talk it out with them to identify potential solutions? It can be challenging to navigate, particularly if the client is preoccupied with the concern.

How can you help solve your clients’ non-financial needs?

You can’t be an expert in everything, but you can cultivate a deep bench of reliable contacts to draw from and share with clients. You likely count a number of entrepreneurs and business owners as clients and have met a variety of local professionals over the years. Are their business cards in your desk or digitized to where you can share them if the need arises? Becoming a resource for reliable recommendations can benefit you in a few ways:

  • Helps you do right by your clients, by connecting them to other experts, resources and businesses
  • Relieves you from needing to have all the answers
  • Provides clients with a good contact to help you return to the main conversation at hand
  • Keeps you connected with your community and local businesses
  • May result in reciprocal referrals

It’s important for you to have your professional contacts organized (preferably digitally) and to be prepared if clients ask you for a recommendation. Better yet, use your active listening skills to deduce when your clients could use some direction or a recommendation. You can say, “I hear you are having a problem with x, I happen to have a client who is an expert in that area. Let me connect the two of you after this meeting.”

Who are the experts and professionals a financial advisor should have in their contacts? Here’s my list, collected from hundreds of conversations with business owners, colleagues, friends and financial advisors:

Business services

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants, CPAs, tax preparers
  • Insurance agents
  • Bankers
  • Graphic designers, web designers, freelance writers
  • Entrepreneur/business coaches/life coaches
  • Bookkeepers, CFO/Controller consultants
  • Administrative assistants, travel agents, executive recruiters, human resources consultants

Health and home

  • Physicians and specialists, physical therapists, personal trainers
  • In-home healthcare providers, hospice agencies, elder care facilities, companions for aging clients
  • Home contractors, landscapers, painters, cleaners, interior designers, organizers, handyman

Life events

  • Event planners, venue contacts, caterers, chefs and bakers, photographers, florists, DJs
  • Funeral homes, mortuaries
  • Movers, estate sale coordinators, real estate agents and brokers, property managers, loan officers


  • Nannies, babysitters, tutors, coaches
  • Pet groomers, dog walkers, pet sitters, veterinarians, dog trainers
  • Auto mechanics, barbers/hair stylists, electricians, plumbers

There is a difference between a traditional referral, a recommendation and a simple introduction, and you can work on your phrasing when you have the discussion with clients. When we are faced with a problem, or trying to find a reputable service provider, most people would welcome a warm lead over searching on the internet. If you’ve never used the service but know the person, be honest and say, “I haven’t personally needed to hire a web designer, but I know Jane could help answer your questions as she works with a lot of local small businesses.”

When you provide a client with a contact, make sure you call the contact to let them know and, if appropriate, give them a little background. They will likely be thrilled that you passed along their information and may be willing to return the favor in the future. Later, reach out to both the contact and the client. This will remind the contact that you were the one who made the referral, which could have easily been forgotten with the excitement of a new client. It may also make them more inclined to provide you with a referral down the line. When you reach out to your client, find out if they were able to connect and how it went. This reinforces that you’re invested in your relationship. By helping your clients solve their non-financial problems, you become an indispensable source for more than just financial advice.

When you refer clients to someone, they realize it’s okay to refer and will make them see you as a valuable resource. This could potentially make it easier for them to refer someone to you. The person receiving the referral will hold you in higher regard and more likely to refer you when the opportunity presents itself.

What other professionals and experts have you recommended to your clients?

The views expressed in this article should not be considered investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or adopt any investment strategy.

From now until normal: 7 ways to reframe and elevate the client experience

If normalcy is many months away, how can advisors provide exceptional value to their clients now?

Productivity in unprecedented times

To thrive in the new normal, advisors may need to reorient themselves both physically and psychologically. Here’s three tips.

Coronavirus, clients and the role of a financial advisor

Escalating anxiety calls for a reliable voice of reason.

Advisor’s guide to the psychology behind goal setting

As more advisors adopt goals-based investing into their practice, the amount of client interactions naturally increases as advisors seek to define (and refine) the full scope of their client’s goals.

Let’s elevate practice management in 2020

Right now, thousands of athletes around the globe have their sights set on one goal—the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo.

Are you ready for a new decade of financial advice?

This past decade, financial advisors and the finance industry was shaken up and forever changed.

How to help clients be prepared for the unexpected

Having these preparatory conversations with clients are especially relevant now as many begin to reflect on the previous year and gear up for the next one.

Can a group supercharge your growth? This one might.

For the last few years I have focused on helping advisors understand how to create an elevated client experience.

Three ways to reframe referrals (that work)

Let’s be honest, that old way of asking for a referral doesn’t work for a lot of us.

Running your business and managing clients during periods of market volatility

In the past, it might not have been too challenging to field questions from a few concerned clients when the market takes a dip.

Advisors, how are your storytelling skills?

Millions of shows scream for our attention to be watched and, while it can be overwhelming, it reflects an underlying human truth—we love good stories.

The professional contacts every advisor should have

Advisors are hired and given a license to discuss at-length, a topic that for most people, is a pretty touchy one—money.

The fundamental flaw in traditional referral requests

In my observation, many financial advisors ask for referrals in the same way.

What grieving clients need from you

A number of commercials for financial advisors focus on being with clients for life’s high points—graduations, home purchases and retirement.

Best practices for advising couples

Of the 60 million married couples in the US, it’s unlikely that any fell in love over a shared investment risk tolerance.

Anchoring and financial decisions

Anchoring can become dangerous when clients allow anchors to influence their performance expectations.

What Are the Risks?

All investments involve risks, including possible loss of principal. Stock prices fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and dramatically, due to factors affecting individual companies, particular industries or sectors, or general market conditions. Special risks are associated with foreign investing, including currency fluctuations, economic instability and political developments. Investments in emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors, in addition to those associated with these markets’ smaller size and lesser liquidity. Investments in fast-growing industries like the technology sector (which historically has been volatile) could result in increased price fluctuation, especially over the short term, due to the rapid pace of product change and development and changes in government regulation of companies emphasizing scientific or technological advancement or regulatory approval for new drugs and medical instruments.

Important Legal Information

The companies and case studies shown herein are used solely for illustrative purposes; any investment may or may not be currently held by any portfolio advised by Franklin Templeton Investments. The opinions are intended solely to provide insight into how securities are analyzed. The information provided is not a recommendation or individual investment advice for any particular security, strategy, or investment product and is not an indication of the trading intent of any Franklin Templeton managed portfolio. This is not a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any industry, security or investment and should not be viewed as an investment recommendation. This is intended to provide insight into the portfolio selection and research process. Factual statements are taken from sources considered reliable, but have not been independently verified for completeness or accuracy. These opinions may not be relied upon as investment advice or as an offer for any particular security. Past performance does not guarantee future results.