There is no lead more powerful than one gained through a referral.
A prospect is four times as likely to purchase insurance when they are referred by a friend, family member or colleague. Despite their potential for new business, many agents are reticent to ask for referrals. Dale Carnegie is famous for saying that 91% of clients are ready to give a referral while only 11% of service professionals ever actually ask for one. Don’t let yourself fall into the referral avoidance trap. The best strategy for referral marketing is to create a system that runs year round. With the new stream of income you receive from referrals, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to get it going.
1. Create a referral list
Your clients are your greatest resource when it comes to marketing. You can proclaim that you are the head of the pack when it comes to providing service value, but when someone who has worked with you gives their endorsement, it means so much more. As you provide your clients with satisfying experiences, add them to a mailing list specifically for referral marketing. They don’t have to be your biggest fan, just any client with whom you have demonstrated your unique service proposition.
2. Ask a few times a year
We recommend asking your customers for a referral about four times a year. By spacing your requests out quarterly, it will not feel as though you are pestering your clients, but it will keep you top of mind when they are interacting with friends and family who might require a new policy. Don’t feel awkward about asking for referrals. It is a great opportunity for your clients to demonstrate value to their friends through you. Be sure to treat referrals like gold. They not only represent an opportunity to gain a new client, but they are an opportunity to make your existing clients look good which will, in turn, increase their retention and longevity.
3. Provide an incentive
It is always beneficial to provide your clients with a carrot to motivate them to give a referral. Surprisingly, when it comes to asking for referrals, non-cash incentives are 24% more effective. The value of the incentive has surprisingly little influence on how much it motivates clients to take action. We suggest offering a digital asset like an ebook or white paper to inspire your customers to provide a referral. It is an excellent way to show your appreciation without adding any additional cost to your referral program.
4. Automate the process
It is a fact that when a company implements an automated referral program, they are more than three times as likely to generate and convert referrals. However, only 22% of companies have such a program in place. If you are going to all the effort of collecting and segmenting your satisfied clients, providing them with incentives and asking them throughout the year for referrals, you want to make sure the system you have in place to collect their information and follow up on the leads is fool-proof.
Here at Agency Revolution, we
are preparing for the release of just released a new suite of products we are calling Attract. One of the automated campaigns that will run within this new suite is a referral generation campaign that will automatically mail your most satisfied clients four times a year asking them to refer their friends, family, and colleagues. It drives them to a dedicated referral page installed on your website that will capture the new prospect’s information. We even provide you with a digital download to use as an incentive for your clients. If this service sounds like something you might be interested in, don’t hesitate to contact our representatives about it today!