The Holy Grail of Advertising: The Importance of Referrals From Your Clients

Geoff Beglen

Geoff Beglen | Account Advisor, Individual

It can’t be said enough: Referrals are one of the most important components of a successful inbound sales strategy. Nothing opens a door to a new prospect like a strong recommendation from a friend or relative. When a client thinks their broker is making a meaningful effort to serve their insurance needs, there is a strong likelihood they will share that experience with others.

Here are three ways you can generate referrals from a loyal client base:

Correspondence. Birthday cards, gifts, holiday cards, reminder emails, and other forms of intermittent correspondence with your clients can go a long way. Handwritten notes or well-written emails project a positive identity and foster goodwill. You can also add in a quick line at the end of your communications that says, “Do you know anyone who may benefit from my services? Here is my contact information…”

Private Events/Invitation Only. Ask prominent prospects and clients to a high-end venue like a country cub or the luxury box at a sporting event. By inviting both clients and prospects, you’ll even see your best clients begin to do your selling for you.

Take it one more step and use a little teamwork. These events are a great chance to ask everyone in your network for introductions to people who might get value out of your event. You’ll quickly find that people love the opportunity to get invitations for their friends and colleagues to an exclusive event.

The Point Of Sale. Every sales person has the objective of closing a sale when they enter a meeting. They should also make it a goal of obtaining at least one referral.

If you are hesitant about the process of asking for a referral, here are some opening lines to get you over that hurdle:

  1. “If you like what I’m doing, don’t keep it a secret!” Though this sounds like throwaway line, it really works! The client may know a friend or relative that would benefit from your services. More often than not, they will be happy to provide you with a name.
  2. “On the back of this card, can you provide the name of one person that you feel may benefit from my services?” This tactic is even better. After your client has given you a name, they may feel compelled to give them a heads up that you will be contacting them.
  3. Or try the inductive approach. Begin by saying, “I was wondering if I could get your help with something…” When you do that, you’ll set yourself up for a productive chat and leave the other person feeling good about helping you.

Asking for a referral need not be an arduous and uncomfortable task. With the right approach, you can take advantage of your best sales ally: the referral.

At Cornerstone, we are advocates for your success. Contact us for additional guidance about the art of asking for a referral. Also, if you are not already using our Agency Services Program, learn more about how you never have to say no to a client!

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