Referrals are the ultimate sales leads. Unlike unadorned names culled from the Internet, they come with the benefit of something extra: the public backing of someone who likes your agency. Yet, referrals seldom just happen. They are sporadic at best unless you assertively and systematically seek them out. There are myriad ways to accomplish this. Winning methods include fill-in-the-blank referral web forms (complete with memory joggers), aggressive in-person and online networking, personal entreaties to insureds, social marketing referral contests with big-ticket prizes, and other self-aggrandizing promotions. Here are tips for managing common sources of referrals.
Common Referral Sources
Attorneys. In the past, having a lead generating arrangement with a lawyer was golden. Real estate and business attorneys could send you endless leads. But, in today’s economy, many of these professionals are scratching for a buck, just like everyone else. Still, in bad times at least one segment of the legal profession is doing pretty well — and that’s criminal lawyers. Maybe they could refer a few of their not-guilty clients your way. Or better yet, some larceny victims. They’ve already suffered a theft. What are the odds of it happening to them again right away?
CPAs. They understand the dollar value of the insurance leads you request from them. They have more than enough education to multiply the estimated premiums times commission to arrive at your projected revenue per successful referral. Over time, they’ll do the math and stop pretending to appreciate that bottle of non-brand booze you give them after you close a sale. So, ask, just don’t overdo it.
Friends and Family. Asking a friend, sibling, cousin, or in-law to suggest people and businesses that might benefit from your insurance services is tantamount to giving up your weekends. They may smile broadly and happily scratch out a few names because they know they’ll get something better in return. If you value your time, don’t ask them for anything.
X-Spouses. When you were married, your husband or wife likely never provided you with decent referrals. That’s because they expected you to know everyone they did. However now that you’re apart, you might be thinking of asking your ex for a few leads. Beware. If the divorce was acrimonious, they might supply you with the names of some accident-prone drivers and potential arsonists just for kicks.
X-Insureds. Asking quality insureds for referrals is a good move. But asking former policyholders isn’t a smart move. These guys fired you, and if they similarly know more folks like themselves, then any referrals you obtain are worthless anyway.
X-Men. These mutants are not real, even though they’ve starred in five major motion pictures. So forget about asking them for super-powered referrals, unless you watch way too many movies and have trouble telling fiction from reality.