Want More Referrals? Here’s How
|Four Steps To Effective Referrals|
Referrals. We say we want themwe say we ask for themso why dont we get more of them? There are several reasons:
1. We dont ask. We work hard in opening, analyzing, presenting and closing the case. By the time we write the application, we are so thankful to get the sale, we are afraid to ask for more time and afraid to expend more effort for fear that the case may become “unsold.”
Consciously or unconsciously, we take the path of least resistance and say to ourselves, “Ill ask for referrals later.” There are several problems with this. We are never stronger, or have more rapport with our client, than at the time that we have just closed the sale. Once we put it off, asking gets easier to put off. The effect? Many times, “later” becomes “never.”
2. We treat it almost as an “afterthought.” We say something like, “Would you know anybody who could use my services?” Or, “Would you know someone who would like to buy insurance?” Most people, when asked those questions, are thinking to themselves, “We didnt even think we would, so how would we know if someone else would?” Nothing comes to mind off the top of their head, so they instantly answer, “Nope, sure dont.” And, that’s the end of that referral request.
3) We ask indirectly, or rather weakly, because we have a mental block and think it might be an imposition. Instead of asking for referrals, we say something indirect and passive, like, “If you know people who need my services, be sure to send them to me or give them my name.”
There is a better way! Getting referrals should be approached as another sale. Our clients must be sold on us and sold on the idea that it is in their best interest to help us. “Why would it be in their best interest to help us?” we ask. Well, if we dont secure more new clients and have new business, then we may not be in business to service that client. So, by referring, they are helping to create a successful agent who will be there to service their claim or policy in the future.
So, how do we start getting referrals? Here are a few key points to remember.
1. Have an organized approach. Know what you are going to say about referrals and exactly when you are going to say it. Treat the act of asking for referrals like the act of lowering the landing gear on an airplane. Do it “each and every time,” not “now and then,” or “almost every time.” When it’s built into the presentation, it becomes automatic. The client will flow from the sale of the policy or program right into the referral. The first thing to do is to establish, in the clients mind, the reason for the referral.
Try this: “Mr. and Mrs. Jones, word of mouth is the best form of advertising, isnt it? After all, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, as you know, I was referred to you by the Smith family. What I ask of my clients, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, is an introduction. Now, you may never know who is looking for insurance or investment products and seldom would you ever know if a friend, a neighbor, or a relative is getting inadequate service in those areas.”