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Word of Mouth Influence Hierarchy

Secrets of Advisors Getting 10+ New Clients a Year by Referral

Have your referrals plateaued? That could be because it can be awkward to ask for referrals, and clients don’t like being asked to give them. Word-of-Mouth Influence (WOMI) can help you get referrals without asking for them. It involves getting your clients to tell others about your services. The Oechsli Institute uses a simple, yet powerful metric to measure WOMI with financial professionals: the number of referrals received in the past year.

These referrals are unsolicited—not as a result of an old-school referral approach, where you ask clients about people they know (75% of investors dislike that approach).1


More WOMI = More Referrals

This research shows that some financial professionals are generating far more WOMI than others over the past year:2

Laggards: 0-2 new households by referral

Middlers: 3-9 new households by referral

Generators: 10+ new households by referral


A Model to Help Explain What the Generators Are Doing So Well2

Why do Generators get more new business by way of referral? That’s what this content is all about—how you can use the WOMI hierarchy to do the actions that lead to higher levels of new business.

There were a number of behaviors that were positively correlated with referral flow. We put all of the behaviors into various segments of the hierarchy, just to make it easier to understand and implement.



Matt Oechsli from The Oechsli Institute explains the power of Word of Mouth Influence.

Matt provide tips on how to use our advisor workbook.

Next Steps

  1. Download or order the workbook below
  2. Watch the workbook training video above
  3. Within one week, evaluate your practice on the 14 criteria that affluent clients expect on page 4 of the workbook


1Source: The Oechsli Institute, 2017 Affluent Investor Research-Most Recent Data Available

2Source: The Oechsli Institute, 2017. The research was conducted with 404 financial professionals. 30% were from wirehouses, 26% independent, 17% regional, 15% RIA, 6% bank, 3% insurance, and 3% other.Most Recent Data Available

The Oechsli Institute is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.

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