Q. I need to increase the number of leads and create a better quality of leads to help my closing ratio and productivity. Can you provide advice to help achieve this?
A. A LIMRA survey of successful agents indicated that two of the best ways to generate quality leads are by (1) developing centers of influence (COI) and (2) getting referrals.
For some helpful techniques, I asked Michael Beck, of Exceptional Leadership, an insurance and advisor coach, and David Frey, president of www.MarketingBestPractices.com and the author of the “Small Business Marketing Bible,” to share their expertise. Here are some of the sales ideas I learned. Michael emphasized that it is definitely worth taking the time to generate quality referrals. Referrals are easier to close, make their buying decision faster, are more profitable because there’s no cost in acquiring them and are more loyal. However, four key factors need to be in place.
Key #1: Work With Enough Referral Sources — Most referral-hungry professionals work with too few referrals sources or “centers of influence.” Whenever Michael does a workshop and asks attendees how many COIs they have, the typical answers range from three to six. That’s not enough to produce a meaningful, steady stream of referrals. You need 12 “core” COIs and about 100 potential COIs. He defined a center of influence as a person who sees or know a lot of people, must like you, and is willing to help you succeed. Those core COI people are the ones you’ll take to lunch regularly. Two ways to increase your COI’s are to attend networking events and to ask your current core COI’s for suggestions.