Getting referrals is an integral part of your insurance business that you can not afford not to do it. Most insurance agents do well at the beginning of their insurance career by focusing on natural market. Sadly, many of them quit the business after they have exhausted their natural market and have nobody to sell to.
Getting referrals is the key for long term growth and stability of your insurance business. Selling to referrals is a much easier task than selling to complete strangers since the referrals may have meant something about you before you approach them.
The following are some methods an insurance agent can use to get referrals:
(a) Build referral request into your sales process
At the beginning of a sales interview, let your prospects know that you are in people business where you need to meet a lot of people and you would appreciate if at the end of the sales interview they could recommend your service to people they know.
(b) Use referral cards
A referral card is the bridge to bring you to your future customers. Design professional and visibly appealing referral cards. Leave behind referral cards at the end of your sales or service appointment. Let your customers know you will pick them up in your next visit.
(c) Give your customers reasons why they should give you referrals
Help your clients understand the benefits of recommending your service to their contacts. In order for you to continue to service them, you need a strong and healthy business. This is only possible if you continue to have people to see.
(d) Provide service that delights your clients
It is important to know that we have to earn referrals. If you have done a good job and they are pleased with the way you take care of them, there is no reason why they are a contact to let their friends be your customers.
(e) Get customers' support to grow your business
Invite customers who have business network for lunch. During the lunch, do not talk about the customer, talk about your career and business goals. Tell your customers that they are the key to your business success. State the types of referrals you need from them.
(f) Exchange referrals
Form a tip club and exchange clientele with customers who are lawyers, accountants or business owners. References you get from this source mostly turn out to be high quality customers. The referrals would trust you as how they trust your customers.
(g) Send newsletters
Send newsletters to your customers. Have a special column in your newsletter that allows your customers to recommend referrals to you if they find some products or services highlighted in your newsletter may be of benefit to their friends.
(h) Reward system
Let your customers know that they are helping you save marketing dollars by referring new customers to you. This allows you to pass on the savings to them in the form of gifts such as movie tickets or you can buy your customers an appreciation dinner.
You can ask your prospects or clients for referrals at any point during the sales process when there is opportunity for you to do so. Some may give you referrals right away if they find you trustworthy; some may give you later if they need time to think; and some will never give you any referral for whatever reason.
However if you put enough efforts and seize every opportunity to ask for referrals, you will always be in the business. You will always have people to see and never run out of prospects.
Asking for referrals is part and parcel in your sales process. Your next big case may come from a referral given by your customer. Not asking for referral is like cutting yourself off from your future business success.
When you ask for referrals, you mean business. We need to first satisfy ourselves if the level of service we provide to our existing customers earns us the right to ask for referrals. Insurance agents who regularly get quality referrals are always the ones who provide good, solid and quality services.