Q I need to increase referrals. Can you suggest a system whereby I can accomplish that and feel comfortable asking clients who they know?
A Referrals are recognized as the best source for acquiring new quality clients. With my return to personal production, I knew that I needed to focus on generating referrals. At the same time I was finalizing my new book, and decided to follow the advice I was providing readers.
So I developed this three-step plan:
- Ask for referrals when delivering the policy.
- Use a written agenda with the clients’ names at the top. The agenda provides a method of getting in front of centers of influence and quality prospects.
- Develop a script to use when asking for the recommendations.
I developed the agenda concept from the book chapter written by Dr. Richard Harris. Here’s the copy I use:
Agenda for the policy delivery meeting for Linda and John Doe:
- Review of policy and forms
- Delivery form
- Any changes in benefits
- Review of payment options
- Where to send copies of Schedule Page and Sample Policy, such as CPA, attorney, etc.
- Earning your recommendation
Here’s the referral script that I use:
“The last item on our agenda is recommendations. I would like to ask for your help but with one condition. I don’t want your help unless you are comfortable doing so. Does that sound fair?”
“I thought it would be good for you to know who would most benefit from my services.” (Discuss ages and need to have sufficient income and assets to pay the premium.)
“I like to make the introduction process as easy as possible for everyone involved. What I do is send out this letter with your name at the bottom in bold. What the letter says isn’t as important as having your name at the bottom.”
“And that is all I want, just a few minutes to introduce myself and say hello. The rest of the conversation is up to the prospect.”
“I will offer a no-obligation meeting, such as I did with you. If they decide that they don’t want to move forward, I assure you I won’t pressure or pester them. Does that sound OK?”
“So, if you identify someone you think should know about the important work that I do, please come to me first. Together, we’ll figure out the best way to approach these folks. We’ll do it in a way that suits your relationship with them and that feels comfortable and natural to everyone involved. If they are interested, great.”
“Can I call you in a few months to see who you’ve met?” or “Can I call you from time to time to see if you have met anyone interesting?”
With this agenda and script, getting referrals can be a natural part of building your business.
For more from Margie Barrie, see: