To succeed in the insurance industry, you need to rely on many different strategies. Some of those consist of “old school” techniques, such as cold calling, handing out business cards, and using word of mouth. However, this also includes things like using an insurance agency management system, running an effective marketing campaign, and finding creative ways to get referrals.
Innovative Strategies to Enhance Business Through Referrals
Unfortunately, some insurance agencies overlook the value of referrals, making this a missed opportunity. Referrals have two unique benefits. First, they don’t cost a dime. Second, they’re almost always qualified. For these two reasons alone, you should consider various referral strategies that you can implement today. Here are five to start with.
Provide Appropriate Training
As the owner of an insurance agency, it’s up to you to ensure that all employees get the training they need to perform optimally. This is especially important for agents. People just getting started in the insurance business aren’t yet seasoned enough to know all the critical information and techniques. At the same time, your experienced agents might be set in their ways. Both of these scenarios don’t increase client referrals.
The best way to get your clients to refer family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors to your insurance agency is to treat them right. This is where training plays a key role. The goal is to ensure that everyone in your agency understands the importance of excellent customer service and provides it daily. The clients who feel appreciated and respected are the ones who will refer people to your agency the most.
Create a Client-focused Environment
Even with proper training, you want to make sure your staff works in a client-focused environment. That consists of putting the clients first, following through on promises, and maintaining a positive attitude. When clients visit your office, they’ll quickly see how your agency makes them a priority. At the same time, this is a great way to boost employee morale.
You might question what this has to do with referrals, but the answer is: a lot. The more organized your agency, the fewer mistakes made. Behind every transaction is an individual or business that expects perfection. With busy schedules and tons of responsibility, your clients don’t ever want to deal with mistakes.
Using an insurance agency management system from a reputable source is one way to stay organized and keep your clients happy. With accurate records and details, you have a reference point that you can use to upsell. Also, by making fewer mistakes, you can anticipate seeing a greater number of referrals.
Another great strategy for getting more referrals is to offer some kind of incentive. However, this should apply only to referrals that convert into a client instead of when someone merely contacts your agency to ask questions. The person who referred the client would receive some type of incentive, such as money, a gift card, tickets to a local sporting event, restaurant coupons, and so on – just be sure that you’re not violating any “rebating” regulations.
Time Your Request for Referrals Perfectly
If you asked all your clients for referrals without having a plan in place, it would probably backfire. Instead, it’s all about timing. The goal is to make your request at the opportune time. Here are a few suggestions.
- After a client purchases a policy that gives them great coverage and saves them money
- Following a specific incident in which a client received outstanding support or service
- If you personally know the client
Make the Referral Process Easy
Some clients don’t even think about referring people. It’s not that they’re unhappy with the service or product your agency provides, but they’re more focused on other things. So, you need to make it easy for your clients to refer others.
One example is to create a simple form on your website that will allow your customers to send you the information of their friends and family that they think would benefit from your services.
Optimize Your Website
Considering that a lot of people search for and buy insurance online, you need a professionally designed website. However, to increase the number of referrals to your agency, take that a step further. Start by adding an opt-in option. Then, make insurance intriguing by using interesting live streams, videos, and images.
For one thing, this will help capture the attention of prospects. For another, it gives your current clients a place to point to when someone asks them about the agency they use for their policies.
Build Strong Business Relationships
Often, owners of insurance agencies develop strong business partnerships with a broad range of companies in other industries. You know the saying, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”? Well, that applies to referrals.
In exchange for your promotion of the other companies, they can refer clients to your agency. The key is to build relationships with businesses that complement insurance in one way or another. Car dealerships, real estate agents, banks, and home builders are all perfect examples.
Summing It Up
Referrals are one of the most effective ways to grow your insurance agency. By developing sound strategies, you’ll likely see a change in very little time. These eight tips will help you get started.