Most people couldn’t tell you which of their friends need insurance. So outright asking if they know anyone who may be looking for a new agent will almost never lead to referrals.
Instead, you’ll want to be an agency your customers are quick to recommend when a friend mentions buying a home or opening a business.
How do you make a positive, lasting impression? It’s easy! Just follow these simple tips:
Send a card
In a world where nearly all business communications are electronic, receiving a handwritten card in the mail makes a person’s day.
Cards are a wonderful way to encourage referrals in a tactful way.
Use language that tells customers you’re there for their friends and family rather than bluntly asking them to send others to you for insurance.
Directly asking clients for referrals makes it seem like you view their relationship as a business transaction. Letting them know you’ll care for the people in their life establishes trust and positions you as an agency that will protect the people and things they love.
Your customers will also be touched when they receive a handwritten note from you welcoming them to your agency, wishing them a happy birthday or season’s greetings— all simply because you care without wanting anything in return.
One more bonus to sending a physical card in the mail is that it can be displayed on the fridge or mantel for friends and family to see when they’re over for a visit. It’s an easy way to spark conversation about insurance among friends when they likely wouldn’t have talked about it otherwise.
Thank the people who refer you
When someone refers new business to you, they’re happy enough with your agency to share their experience with friends and family. To keep that referral behavior going, you need to acknowledge them. The best way to do that is with a handwritten card expressing how much you appreciate their referral and letting them know you will take care of the person they sent your way.
Instead of asking, “How did you hear about us?”, ask new customers, “Who referred you to us? I’d like to send them a thank you.” This immediately puts new customers in a referral mindset and positions your agency as one people refer often. It also shows you appreciate and value the clients who are helping you grow.
Make it easy for prospects and clients to contact you
Everyone is different and has their own communication style. Not having an easy way to get in touch with you can create an unnecessary barrier to writing new business or responding to a claim.
Make yourself available on a variety of platforms, including email, phone, texting, web chat, Google messages and Facebook messenger. The more convenient the onboarding process is for someone, the more likely they are to purchase a policy and refer others to you.
Use online testimonials and reviews.
Prospects who don’t know many people in the area will likely be searching for insurance online. You can still provide them with many personal recommendations from others by publishing the nice things customers say about you directly on your website and social media.
A steady flow of authentic, positive reviews will signal to prospects that you consistently go above and beyond for your clients. Even if they don’t have someone to give them a word-of-mouth referral, prospects will be able to see these testimonials and reviews online and have social proof you’re an agency that takes care of your customers.
Surprise, don’t incentivize
If you’re looking to do something extra for clients who refer you, surprising them with a gift card is a great way to show your appreciation. They’ll be touched when this gift card comes with a handwritten note thanking them for their referral and letting them know you’ll take care of the person they sent your way.
However, promising money in exchange for referrals can come across as transactional rather than making your customers feel valued and cared for. It’s unlikely someone would be willing to refer a friend to you solely to receive a monetary reward. Most people will do it because they’ve been happy with your customer service. So instead of setting a precedent that referrals are a monetary transaction between you and your customers, send a small gift card as a surprise.
If this sounds like a lot of work, never fear!
ClientCircle can do all of this and more for you automatically. All you have to do is keep being an outstanding agency your customers love. We’ll give you the tools to get your loyal customers to start referring new business to you, even if they never have before.