Maintaining a good reputation is key to landing referrals.
Referrals are vital to the success of top health insurance producers. They are easier to close, cost little by way of marketing and usually tend to be more loyal. Indeed, referrals are as close to a sure thing as you can get in the world of insurance leads.
This, of course, is not to say it’s a walk in the park to secure referrals and turn them into long-term clients. The referral process begins, as you might expect, with your current clients. But long before you ask them to divulge the names of potential profit proliferators, you need to cultivate a deeper relationship with them. You need to have demonstrated your value and expertise from Day 1 and continue to build on feelings of security and trust throughout the relationship. This should already be common practice for any agent, but it’s especially important if you want to build a referral-based business. Think about it: you’re not going to give someone your best friend’s phone number if you think they’re going to feel hassled by a product-peddling salesperson.
Once you’ve built a comfortable relationship with your clients, you can begin developing a system by which to ask for referrals. Think about what makes your clients more comfortable as opposed to what makes you more comfortable. This will often depend on your rapport with each individual client. Some may feel more comfortable with e-mail queries while others would prefer to discuss such matters after an in-person review of their own policy. Either way, tailor your delivery to the client. If you are meeting with your client and their spouse, don’t be afraid to utilize the spouse for names as well.
Once you’ve acquired a few names from your client, ALWAYS be sure to send them a thank you note or a gift of some sort. You can even offer incentives as part of your personal “referral program” if they need a little help remembering that cousin’s number whose carrier just raised premiums.
So, how do we approach the client once we’ve gotten their information? Some agents will send a referral card or pre-approach letter. Either way, the concept is the same: let them know who you are, how you got their name, and that you will be giving them a call in a couple of days. A personal introduction from your current client to the referred prospect would be ideal, but I wouldn’t force the issue.
After you’ve broken the ice with your referral, it’s business as usual. Sell like you know how to sell and start the process all over again. Eventually, your network- and your business- will expand to new levels of unprecedented success.