The subject of referral marketing is a tricky one for some agents. They know the importance of having clients refer business to their agency, but they hate asking. If you can relate to that mentality, fear of “bothering” clients could be causing you to miss out on many opportunities.
Focusing on getting referrals is not only an excellent way to boost your book of business, but it is also a form of social currency. People like to recommend products and services to each other. It's a great way to experience the emotional satisfaction derived from helping another person. When you make it easy for people to refer their friends and family to your agency, you are in fact helping them to build their social currency.
Many agents were never properly taught how to acquire referrals. But, it is surprisingly easy to achieve a steady flow of new business this way. You just need the right tactics.
Create a Referral Reward Program
One of the quickest ways to establish a steady flow of referrals is to implement a rewards program. It is a way to thank clients for referring others to your agency and will make it feel less like you are asking them to do you a favor. It is essentially a win-win situation. Your client gets a reward, in the form of discounts, gifts, or other incentives, and you get another potential customer.
Make it Easy for Clients to Reach You
If clients can’t easily get in contact with you, the chances of them making a referral will be significantly reduced. Opportunities for referrals often arise at impromptu moments - during a chance meeting with an old friend, or social gathering, for example. At this time, if they do not have your contact details on hand, the chance might well pass forever.
Make sure your clients have your contact number on their cell phones so that they can call, or send you a message the moment a referral opportunity arises.
Create referral cards to hand out to clients. The cards should have your contact details, logo, and an area that says “Referred by ________.” Make sure all your clients receive at least two of these cards and encourage them to keep it handy at all times.
Give Two Business Cards
In the same vain as referral cards, start handing out two business cards to new contacts and clients, instead of one. Tell them that the second card is for anyone else they feel might benefit from your services.
Automate Your Referrals With Technology
Technology has given birth to numerous tools that can help you in all areas of your business - even referrals. Tools like Rocket Referrals will analyse details of your current clients and tell which ones are most likely to make valuable referrals. Then, the system will reach out to customers to ask for the referral.
Make it Clear Who Your Target Customer Is
One reason that clients might be reluctant to refer their friends and family to your insurance agency is that they are unsure if there is a good fit. They could look bad if they make the referral and your prices are too high or don’t offer the services the friend requires, for example. Remove the risk and the doubts by making it crystal clear who your target customer is. You could tell your client, for instance, that “you aim to offer the most competitive rates to new homeowners with good credit.”
Integrate a Referral System on Your Website
An increasing number of people prefer to conduct their affairs online, including business, social, and personal activities. While much of your referral marketing will likely be done face-to-face, it is a good idea to add a digital aspect to your strategy to meet the needs of those people who prefer to do things online.
To that end, a box or whole page somewhere on your website that makes it easy for people to email a friend and recommend your agency would be highly beneficial. Even better, have a page that convinces visitors to make a referral, as well as a small box displayed throughout the website.
Leverage Social Power
Use your Facebook page to publicly acknowledge and thank clients who referred others to your agency. This public endorsement serves several purposes: It makes the original referrer feel good about themselves and means they will likely want to repeat the act; it shows everyone else how much you appreciate referrals, and it proves that you satisfy your clients so much that they are willing to make referrals.
Target Clients With the Most Friends
This tactic is slightly on the devious side, but it is an effective way to skyrocket referral business. It stands to reason that the people with the largest network of friends will yield the greatest referral opportunities. So, save time by identifying those people in your Facebook following and LinkedIn connections. Then, use the tactics listed in this post to target them for referrals.
You should never ignore any of your clients, but once you have identified those that are uber-connected, you should go above and beyond to amaze and wow them. They have the potential to generate many leads for your insurance agency.
It may seem unlikely at first, but the more referrals you give, the more you are likely to get in return. Your clients have businesses that need customers, desires that require fulfilment, and all manner of problems that can be solved through the process of referral. Perhaps you could refer your client to a professional who can help them solve an issue. Or, it may be that you know someone who would benefit from something that your client offers.
Whatever the case, when you give referrals people will often feel compelled to return the favor.
A proper referral system can help to boost your agency’s books. Start implementing these tactics today and watch as your current clients spread the word about your services and begin sending lots of leads your way.