Asking your customers for referrals can seem intimidating or time-consuming, but it’s important to recognize the value referrals bring to insurance agencies. Without them, your agency’s growth could slow or decline altogether. With them, your agency could grow your business in an inexpensive way while also improving how your clients understand your agency and services. Word of mouth is still one of the best methods to grow a business. But how do you go about increasing quality referrals?
In most cases, boosting client referrals can involve a whole lot more than simply asking a client to refer you to someone else they know. After all, your customers may not even know the type of referrals you are hoping to gain or the type of market you are working in. If you are looking for new ways to get the most out of client referrals, here are a few tips and tricks to guide you.
Open the Door and Welcome Client Referrals
It’s understandable that many people avoid asking for referrals in fear of sounding desperate. There are, however, ways to take advantage of your customer networks without being excessive. One easy way your agency can boost client referrals is by simply letting your customers know that you are open to referrals. The idea here is not to get access to a sales lead right away. Instead, this step essentially plants a seed for someone who may take advantage of this down the road.
Especially for those clients who already have a long-term relationship with your agency, this can be a great method. This method can show these loyal customers that you value their business and are open to talking with others they know. Just make sure to keep it short and sweet, and stay patient.
A Passive Approach for Collecting Referrals
Instead of verbalizing your willingness to boost client referrals, try adding wording on paper or online. Whether you achieve this by including a couple lines on your business cards, email signatures, or you incorporate an easy referral submission form on your website, it can be a great, simple way to always be passively asking others for client referrals — even when you forget, are too busy, or aren’t willing to ask people directly.
Need some ideas? Here are a few referral email templates you can use today.
Know When to Ask for Referrals
According to Entrepreneur magazine, the best time to ask for a referral is when your customer or prospect is at the peak of their enthusiasm. Why? Because it is when they are in the most positive mindset, whether they are excited about the services and products you offer, the final cost of their purchase or they are thankful for the high level of customer service you’ve given. Unlike a simple or casual approach of mentioning you are open to a referral, this should be done in the moment and without hesitation. Ask your client if they know anyone else who could benefit from the same level of service or quality product. They just might think of someone they know and may be more than willing to connect you with them.
Keep in Touch With Customers
Checking in with your clients has several benefits. Not only does it help you show a higher level of customer service and dedication to those you’ve already sold a policy to, but it keeps you front of mind for them should they ever know someone else who could use your help. There are a variety of ways you can accomplish this: phone calls, emails, holiday cards, tips and resources, etc. The key is to periodically reach out in ways that show appreciation and open the door for communication.
Offer Incentives for Referrals
Offering incentives or rewards for referrals can be a smart idea, but is a little trickier than other methods. Most companies that succeed with this technique offer incentives which are aligned with the type of business it’s in. These can be in the form of discount offers, upgrades, free items or gifts.
Try getting together with your team to see what types of incentives you could offer that make sense to your agency and would be something others would provide referrals in order to receive. As always, remember to have fun with it and be sure to thank your customers when they bring you new business.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling fire and flood insurance in over half the country, with plans to cover the rest by 2017. Find out more at americanstrategic.com.