Word of mouth advertising is the best advertising we have, and probably the least utilized. Why is that? Because nobody taught us the right way to do it. Asking for referrals is an art form. You can be very good at it and never have to pay for a lead again, or you can be very poor at it and spend your hard earned money on leads and basically starve to death.
These principles work, and they won’t cost you one cent.
Principle 1. If you want referrals, you better be referable. You better have taken the necessary time to build rapport with your client and give them not just good service, but extraordinary service. Do the little things that all of your competitors just forget or are too lazy to do. Be professional, and put the needs of the client at the top of the priority list. You do that, and you will get referrals. That, of course, assumes that they like and trust you.
Principle 2. If you want referrals, ask for them up front. Let your client know that this is part of how you get paid, and assuming that you give them extraordinary service and they are thrilled with you, there should be no reason for them NOT to refer you to their friends. If you wait until you are delivering a policy to ask for a referral and the client gets turned down by underwriting, what are the chances of you getting referrals at that point? Nil.
Principle 3. Get an introduction, not a name and number. The best thing to do is to get them to call right then and there and either hand the phone over to you to introduce yourself after they made the proper introduction for you, or for them to let their friend know that with their permission, you will be calling them in the next day or two for a short introduction to explain what you do. Make sure you call them within 48 hours, and preferably within 24 hours while the referral is still in their mind.
Principle 4. Thank the person who gave you the referral. Anybody that refers someone to me, whether they buy or not, as long as they introduce me, I give them a gift card to a local restaurant. The amount is up to you, but make it enough that they can take their spouse out to lunch or dinner.
Principle 5. People with money refer people with money. If you want to up the ante, when you find a client that has money, make them a priority in getting referrals. Poor people hang with poor people. Wealthy people hang with wealthy people. It just goes that way, so pay attention especially when you have a client who has money.
So, there you have it. This is not an all-inclusive list of things to do, but I can tell you that if you will try them, your rate of referrals will go up substantially, and your closing rate will go up proportionately.
Learning is a continual process. The only people that have all the answers already are called know-it-alls, and I KNOW you are not one of those, right? I hope that you will apply this and have great success.