As an insurance agent you can spend countless hours and dollars devoted to marketing tactics and still not get the volume of clients that you need. One way that helps you to get more clients and make more sales is to use your current customer base to get referrals. By honing in on clients that you already have established a relationship with, you have the opportunity to expand your business by being introduced to some of their family, friends, and colleagues.
With all this said, being able to consistently generate referrals requires time, patience, and effective strategy. While referrals are one of the most effective types of leads, no agent wants to come off as pushy or make their clients uncomfortable. Instead, we want to provide clients with exceptions service, while also incentivizing them to refer others. By doing this the proper way, your customers will want to talk about you with other people in their lives. To help you do this, we’ve compiled some of the best ways to increase your referrals and grow your business.
Why Are Referrals So Important?
There are many reasons why referrals stand as some of the most superior insurance leads out there. For starters, they are the least expensive lead you can generate. Even if you are to start some sort of referral rewards program, your referrals will still likely make more money than the program costs.
Another reason is their high level of conversion. Since referral leads are generated through word of mouth (usually from a trusted individual), the person being referred is much more likely to use your services. Unlike finding an advertisement online, when someone is referred, they are actually going to have a conversation with someone who they already know and who will vouch for you. This type of social proof is more effective than any type of traditional advertising.
All in all, there are plenty of ways to reel in more clients, but referrals are at the top of the list in effectiveness. The low cost and the high conversion rate will help you improve your return on investment with less effort required.
Choosing the Right Clients
Boosting your sales with referrals starts with choosing the right clients to approach. Think about it this way — you probably have some clients that you love, and other clients that you don’t feel strongly about one way or the other. While both of these people are valuable to you, when it comes to referrals, the clients who you already have a good relationship with are more important. This is simply because the rapport that you hold with them is more likely to translate to one of their friends or family members. The clients who will be successful in providing referrals will see value in you and the services that you provide for them. Enough so that they are confident enough to take a risk and suggest you to someone else.
And Lastly, you want to be sure that the person at hand is comfortable providing referrals, because the bottom line is, that you never want to make a current client feel uncomfortable. What it all boils down to is that you need to be selective with picking the clients that you plan to ask for referrals.
It sounds easy, because it is! The more you’re able to interact with your clients, the more you’ll be able to build the relationship, and the more comfortable they will be with you. A client’s comfortability is very important in the game of referrals because the more comfortable you make them, the more likely they are to trust you.
With that said, the more consistent you are in reaching out to your clients (even if all you’re doing is asking them how their day is going), the more they will keep you in mind when they are thinking about insurance. You want to build a strong enough reputation so that if their friend is talking about their dreaded expensive insurance payment, you will be the first person that they think of. By combining consistency with trust, you will be able to grow your network of clients just through word of mouth.
2.Provide Customer Service They’ll Remember
In order to make clients want to suggest your services to their friends and family you have to provide them with exceptional customer service. Try to be as understanding, responsive and attentive to their needs and wants, so that the experience is memorable to them. It’s important to try to treat each client as an individual and not just another client. This means going out of your way to show them that you understand their unique circumstances, and will do anything in your power to find a solution specifically tailored for them. Here are a few more specific ways to provide a great client experience:
- Respond to phone calls, emails, and any other requests as quickly as possible.
- Give clients your cell phone number and tell them that they can reach you directly.
- Be sure to follow up with your clients relatively shortly after the sales process is over to make sure that they are happy with their coverage.
Though these are simple things to do, going the extra mile when it comes to client interactions will pay off in the long run when it comes down to you getting referrals and upholding your reputation.
3.Put Together a Product List
One thing that every agent should have is a complete list of all the products that they sell, and all of the details surrounding each product. Once you’ve created this list, you should put it somewhere that is easily accessible to clients such as your website. While checking in on a current client or when making a sale, you should provide this list to the customer at hand. Even if there is a health insurance client who has made it clear that they don’t need life or auto insurance, when seeing the list, they may think of their friend who does.
4.Practice Good Timing
If you are going to ask a client for a referral, you need to do it at the proper time. To understand this, we will first discuss when you shouldn’t ask for one. Don’t ask for a referral:
- If it’s during a billing period or during a time when the client is filing a claim
- Before you’ve closed the sale with the initial client
- After you weren’t able to deliver on a request that they asked you, or a promise that you made to them.
You want to catch your clients when they are in a good mood and feeling optimistic. When a client is already in good spirits since you’re helping them, they will feel more inclined to help you. Some other good signs that it’s time to drop a hint about referrals are:
- If a client is telling you they are happy with your services, or is showing appreciation in another way
- If they make a positive comment about they’re policy or plan costs
The questions that you ask and the way that you ask them are important, but will mean nothing if they are not executed at the proper time. If you keep these recommendations in mind, the likelihood of you getting referrals will greatly increase.
5.Invest in a Rewards Program
Another way to incentivize clients to refer friends to you is by creating some sort of rewards program where the clients will receive a gift for each referral they make. People love free gifts, and what better way to encourage them to make referrals than by offering them some cool items! Another idea is to make a charitable donation whenever someone makes a referral. This will show others that their referrals will help a good cause.
6.Leverage Social Media
Being active and engaging regularly on social media platforms will help drive consumers to your page and open up new opportunities. By creating a strong presence for yourself online, and doing things like regularly sharing educational content, industry insights, testimonials and client reviews, you’ll be able to showcase yourself as an insurance expert who has helped many people in your community. When a potential client comes across your page and sees that a family member left a positive review about you, they will be more likely to consider your services in the future.
7.Make the Referral Process Easy
It’s vitally important to make sure that clients are easily able to make referrals. You don’t want them to have to search for the place to input their information, because if that’s the case, they may just decide to not leave a referral after all. To combat this, make the location of your referral form obvious. Try putting the link in your email signature, so they can simply click it when communicating with you. This can also work for a link to your referral rewards program.
A second idea is to use the business card method. If you don’t already know, this is simply where you leave a space on your business card for the customer to write their name. That way, they can then give the card to their friend, who will ultimately give it back to you when you two connect. However you decide to do it, make your referral link or information loud and clear! You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity simply because your client didn’t know where to go.
Putting it All Together
There are many ways to find new clients, but no way is quite as cost effective with such a high level of conversion. In order to be successful in getting referrals, you need to know your clients. It all starts with choosing the right client to approach. Once you’ve found some people who you have a good relationship with, there are many ways to encourage referrals: provide them with stellar and consistent customer service, compile a detailed list of your products, and post it on your personal website.
Make sure to ask clients for referrals at the proper time. Leverage tools such as social media and rewards programs, and lastly, make the process obvious and easy! If you are a quality insurance agent, chances are that you’re already doing some of this. So, put in the extra time and extra effort and you’ll be on your way to more sales, more satisfied clients, and more lasting relationships.
At Benepath we strive to deliver the highest quality insurance leads. All of the leads that we generate are produced in real-time and are exclusive, so you’ll be the only one working each lead that you purchase. We offer data leads and inbound phone calls for individual health, group health, Medicare, life and commercial insurance. If you’re interested in growing your business with our lead generation services, fill out a form or give us a call at 888-684-3121.