Get More High-Quality Leads from Commercial Banking

Generate high-quality referrals from Commercial Bankers using this information.

One of the top priorities we consistently hear from wealth advisors is to generate more leads from Commercial Banking.  Makes total sense, as commercial clients (business owners) provide the greatest opportunity for growth on the wealth side of the business, as these clients tend to have larger asset balances – both now and/or down the road - and more complex needs (think Succession Planning and Business Planning) that wealth management teams address.  But very few are effectively seizing this opportunity and are left trying to think of anything that will motivate bankers to refer their clients.  Here’s a quick hint–asking for a handout or begging is seldom an effective approach to earning respect, trust, and referrals!

The Challenge

Commercial bankers take great pride in the work they do with their clients.  Unfortunately, many are often reticent to introduce someone new into their client relationships for reasons that seem valid only because they’ve not been made aware of the value you bring to the table.  If required by the bank to provide referrals to Wealth, they will attempt to do the minimum required, but frankly, so often when they do, the conversation they have with their client to position the meeting often sounds something like, “Can you do me a favor and meet with this person from the bank?”  Not a particularly inspiring introduction!

When we ask advisors how they’re going about generating leads from Commercial, the responses are typically as follows:

  • I meet with them regularly to try to become part of their team,
  • I educate them on what we do for our clients and who we do it for, so they know what to look for,
  • I attend their meetings and listen for opportunities that arise for which I can help, and/or
  • I work on making referrals to them so they will see me as a partner and hopefully reciprocate with referrals of their clients.

While none of these tactics are necessarily wrong, most are what the bankers expect and are too often viewed as tactics just to get them to refer their clients.  What’s missing is a clearly defined approach that leaves the banker recognizing – with confidence and urgency – WHY they need to bring you in to engage with their clients for the good of the client AND the good of their own practice.

The Answer

We’ve worked with numerous advisors and wealth management teams to help them develop a more intentional, effective, and engaging approach to building authentic Commercial PARTNERSHIPS that result in a meaningful escalation of quality referrals.  We also work with Commercial Bankers to help them deliver a more engaging and differentiated client experience that positions them with their clients as more than simply a lender, but a true “financial strategist.”  From our work with them, in gauging the value of wealth in their practice, they’re typically asking themselves three crucial questions about you.

  1. What is your intent? Are you simply looking for the opportunity to pitch your wealth services?  Or is your intent to deliver meaningful value for my client?
  2. Will introducing you strengthen my relationship and credibility with my clients? Or does it potentially put it at risk? 
  3. Given my goals and responsibilities, do I have the time to spend introducing you to my clients? And is it a good use of my client’s valuable time?

You – the Wealth Advisor – can overcome these fundamental challenges to building a relationship with your Commercial partners that brings value and success to the clients, the bankers, and you. Start with challenging yourself to answer the following questions – questions we encourage you to consider in your quest to increase your commercial referrals.

  1. What is the “Promise” I make to every prospect and client I meet and to my Commercial partners?
  2. What do I need to work on to become uniquely valuable to the clients (business owners) that Commercial serves?
    • Do I understand all the issues that business owners need to address?
    • Can I effectively engage business owners relative to these issues in a way that leaves them recognizing the unique, differentiated value I deliver?
  3. What matters most to my Commercial partners regarding their objectives for their practice and clients?
    • How does the guidance and insight I provide help the banker better achieve his or her goals and enhance their value with their clients?
    • How do the value and solutions I provide protect the banker and their clients from any negative impacts to their loans?
  4. How can I best SHOW (not TELL) the Commercial Banker my value to them and their clients?
    • What are the specific questions I ask that exemplify how I help their clients address the issues that are vital to their financial well-being and thereby motivate them to introduce me to their clients?
  5. What is the specific process I employ with these clients to ensure the banker clearly understands the value he and his clients receive relative to the time required of them?

Take Action to Change your Game

We’ve spent a great deal of time perfecting a framework that helps establish wealth advisors and wealth teams as the go-to personal wealth management source for business owners, thereby leading to significant increases in the referrals advisors get from Commercial.  This includes equipping advisors or wealth management teams with:

  1. The knowledge needed to understand and engage with business owners on the key issues they must address,
  2. The conversational framework and skills that will clearly differentiate you in how you work with business owners, and
  3. A specific framework to ignite your relationship with Commercial Bankers and other referral sources.

Start building stronger partnerships with Commercial Banking partners and significantly increase your pipeline of business owner prospects by clicking HERE.

About Rick Swygman and David Greene