We all love referrals, maybe as much as ice cream. We all love a good referral but how often are we asking for them, and we all know its not what you do sometimes but it’s what you do consistently. For many agents they apply the hope is a strategy approach. I hope they come in, and sometimes they do. However, when sales are down let’s face it hope just isn’t enough.
There are two types of referrals agents need to be targeting:
- Centers of Influence
- Client Referrals
Both have a different approach yet both are insanely valuable. No matter what role you are in at your agency everyone can be proactively harvesting referral relationships. As an agency team member you should be so proud of where you work that you want to tell everyone you know from your accountant, realtor, attorney, neighbors and more. In fact, if you aren’t telling your circles about your agency think about that? Why wouldn’t you want your peeps insured with the best? If you don’t believe you are the best we have to change that equation.
So let’s review how to get consistent referrals.
Centers of Influence
Let’s face it business people need other business people to survive. Every industry is hungry for two things:
- Associates and vendors that make their life easier
- More referrals for themselves
Earning center of influence relationships takes time, commitment and will. You don’t hand your top clients over to a stranger. There is a dating period. But unlike going to a bar where you hope to bump into a hottie looking to party, at networking events everyone is looking for the same thing a well drink and the opportunity to solve a problem or make more money. The best news is in insurance everyone has to have it and for most people it’s a pain they don’t want to deal with. You can be the solution they are looking for.
So how do we start getting these relationships? Well how did you meet some of your best vendors? By far the easiest and most comfortable way is from your current network. There is a reason BNI and other networking groups are so popular. If you aren’t part of a snazzy get up really early networking group you can also work LinkedIn. Linkedin will show you who your peers are connected to. Within a few phone calls you can set up lunch or coffee to get the relationship started. It always starts with the toughest deals so you can show your value. If you pull through you can earn the rest.
So to consistently earn centers of influence, you have to be present and ask for the meeting.
Always the sign of a job well done! The client referral.
However for all of us who are too busy to get anything done we probably don’t hop on asking for referrals either.
So if we hope they magically appear we aren’t really working on controlling the situation.
I love the idea of putting together a goal every day. When you hit it it’s job well done! Imagine asking 2 people for referrals every day OR at least educating 2 people on your referral program. However with no guidelines we are just hoping they call in.
Also, think about the 30 day post sale I love you call, what a great time to check in and earn that referral.
Now, I know for most people they don’t love asking for referrals. Personally, its not top on my list to do but it works. In order to improve we all have to get out of our comfort zone, sometimes that means practicing something uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable.
So the bottom line is if you want referrals you have to consistently work at them. If you need help we have a great 6 month sales training!