Referrals are your agency’s lifeblood. You depend on them to get new clients and keep your business going.
But, let’s be honest, getting them can be a pain.
As insurance industry professionals, we’ve been there! We know that sometimes getting insurance referrals requires you to get creative. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top tips for getting insurance referrals.
Don’t be shy
Many agents feel apprehensive about asking for referrals. They worry that they’re intruding or being pushy, and that it might put the client off. If that’s how you feel as an insurance agent, it’s about time to change your attitude! People love helping other people out. If you’ve provided great customer service, chances are your client will be more than happy to offer a referral if you ask.
Customer service! Customer service! And yes, customer service!
Clients are always more likely to recommend agents who take great care of them. That’s why getting more referrals starts with taking great care of your customers. That includes responding quickly to inquiries or complaints, saying yes as much as possible, and going above and beyond to meet a client’s needs. If you want to become the agent whose contact list is overflowing with contacts, start by being the best agent you can be!
Create referral cards
Insurance referral cards are like business cards turned up a notch. They’re a tangible reason for your clients to refer their friends. Make sure your referral cards include your business and contact information, and “Referred by ______”. They’re great to include in welcome packets or mailing promotions, but you might have the best luck handing them to clients or prospects in person.
Hand out more business cards
Whenever you meet with a prospect or an existing client, it’s always a good idea to give them more than one business card–one for themselves, and one to hand to a friend. Remind them of a reason to pass on the extra card, such as a friend who might be shopping for a home, or one who has a teen learning to drive.
Connect with your clients on social media
We know that social media is a powerful tool for insurance agents. One of the big reasons is that it’s another way of connecting you with your clients–and, potentially, their friends. When meeting with a client or talking to them over the phone, ask them to like your agency on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. They may end up sharing some of your content.
Do a little social media research. Which of your clients have the most friend connections? Keep a list of these clients, and make a note to go above and beyond when working with them–because they could have more potential for giving referrals. Remember, it helps to know your clients and be aware of your relationship with them before asking for referrals.
Create refrigerator magnets with your contact information on them, and ask clients to put them on their refrigerators so they can contact you quickly in case of an emergency. Not only is this convenient for the customer, but it will also put your contact information close at hand if they want to refer a friend. You might even ask the client if you can send one of your magnets to a trusted neighbor.
Partner with local businesses
Many other businesses in your town need referrals, too. Whether it’s the car dealership down the street or the realtor around the corner, these folks are always looking for new clients, just like you are. So why not work together? Reach out to other local businesses and offer to send clients to them if they’ll do the same for you.
Follow up quickly
During follow-up after a successful meeting with a client, or after you’ve done them a favor, is a great time to ask for referrals. Just make sure you follow up promptly–usually within the next few days after talking with the client. Waiting more than a week gives the client time to forget details of your interaction. But if you follow up soon after, the experience will still be fresh in their minds. They’re more likely to respond positively to your request for a referral.
Get referrals from your best clients
This doesn’t necessarily mean the clients you do the most business with–the clients who may be needy, demanding or “high-maintenance.” We mean the clients who always pay their bill on time, renew yearly, and rarely file claims.
People tend to be friends with others who are like them, which means that you’re likely to get more “good” clients from your existing good clients. Those are the people you want to be getting referrals from, so you can grow a healthy insurance agency.
Because you may not hear from these clients a lot, reaching out to them may be trickier. Consider a letter or e-mail thanking them for their long-time patronage, and end it by asking for referrals so you can have more great clients like them.
Keep pre-stamped postcards in your office
Consider printing up postcards that have your agency’s information as the return address. Keep a stack of pre-stamped ones at your front desk. Have your front desk personnel offer clients the opportunity to send a postcard to a friend while they wait for their appointment. Hopefully they’ll take a moment to tell someone else why they like working with your agency.
Have an electronic referral form on your website
When it comes to insurance referrals, many companies are going paperless. Consider creating an electronic referral form on your website for clients to enter their friends’ information. It’s easy to share the link to this form on social media or in emails, and you can even include it on your business cards. Clients can also easily share the link. In fact, many of today’s consumers prefer this type of convenient online system for referrals.
Include a referral request in your email signature
Because they’re attached to the bottom of every email you send, e-mail signatures are a great way to casually request referrals. It’s just a gentle reminder to your client that you always appreciate their help in finding new prospects. If you have a referral form on your agency’s website, your e-mail signature is a great place to provide the link to that.
Offer refer-a-friend promotions
It’s true that many clients will be more than happy to provide referrals with no extra incentive–but let’s be honest, people love to get something for their effort! Offer your clients a reward for referring a friend–for instance, a gift card. You’ll find the investment to be more than worth it. (Just make sure you’re following all federal, state, and local regulations!)
Ask for referrals
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again–sometimes just straight-out asking your clients to refer a friend or family member is the most surefire method for getting referrals. Some agents get nervous about asking for referrals, or worry about sounding too pushy. If this is the case for you, consider using a script. Just make sure you practice it plenty of times before you use it on a client. Even if you are using a script, you don’t want to sound like it!
Try our referral tool
Did you know that InsuranceSocial.Media has a built-in tool that makes getting insurance referrals easier? We want to help our members streamline the process of getting referrals, and we created this tool with that in mind. It’s simple to use, and takes the anxiety out of asking for referrals. The best part? It’s fully included in your InsuranceSocial.Media membership. If you haven’t used it yet, take a minute and give it a try right now.
If you’re not yet an InsuranceSocial.Media subscriber, but want to see how our referral tool can help your agency, sign up for our risk-free free trial today.
Start Getting More Insurance Referrals
There’s no better time than now to start putting these ideas into practice to get more insurance referrals for your agency. With these strategies, plus all the benefits of an InsuranceSocial.Media membership, we know you’ll start seeing more quality insurance referrals in no time.
—By Mallory DuPuy