June 23, 2020
By Rebecca Batisto
Do you ever feel awkward asking for a referral from one of your clients?
There are dozens of ways to grow your client base as an insurance agent. You could expand your digital marketing efforts online. You might try promotions or partnerships with other organizations. But one of the fastest and most reliable ways to connect with new clients is to get direct referrals from your current clients.
Referrals are, simply put, incredibly powerful. The word of a satisfied client speaks volumes, and if they mention you to one of their friends or a friendly company, you could have a new client in no time. But the trick is that you need to ask for it. And that can put insurance brokers in a tough spot.
You might be worried that they’ll say, “no,” making things awkward in the future. Or perhaps asking for “help” could leave you feeling self-conscious. It’s also possible that you’re not going about it the right way! If you approach a client properly, asking for a referral will feel incredibly natural, vastly increasing the chances that you’ll land one!
Here’s how we would recommend going about the referral request:
While you could blindly ask all of your clients for a referral, you will greatly improve your success rate if you find out their already existing connections.
Doing this is easier than ever with LinkedIn. By checking their connections, you can find the companies and organizations that you would like to work with and would be a good match for your insurance services. We wouldn’t necessarily suggest that you tell your client you’ve been checking their LinkedIn profile, but it will give you a better idea of the clients that you want to ask about getting a referral.
When you’re asking for a referral from a client, it’s vital to reassure them that they have your loyalty and that you love working with them.
Some clients might not want to connect you with others because they are worried about being put on the backburner in favor of new clients. By spending the time to connect and build your relationship with them, you will reassure them that they have your loyalty, increasing the chances of landing a referral.
No one wants to be hugely inconvenienced. If you make it seem like referring you to one of their connections is going to be a lot of work, they will be less likely to do it. On the other hand, if you make it as smooth as possible for them, they will be much more likely to go the extra mile for you.
While you can’t exactly write the referral email for them, you could be very specific about the types of clients you’re looking for and why you think you’d be a good match. This not only will reduce the burden on them of having to think of something to say, but it will maximize the chances that you’ll end up working with an organization that is a perfect match with you and your insurance services.
Even if your client loves you, they might still need a little push towards connecting you with new clients. So, you might need to “sweeten the pot” a little.
By providing them with an incentive, such as a discount on their next invoice, they will be falling over themselves to refer you to others. Similarly, you could also offer to refer them to anyone who is looking for their services. In other words, provide them with an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” kind of deal.
If you feel weird about asking a client for a referral in person, then maybe asking them through email might be more your style.
There is nothing wrong with asking for a referral through email, so long as you tailor the email to the client. The last thing you want to do is send a form letter to your entire email list, asking if they know anyone who could benefit from your services. Spam like that is rarely effective, and most people can see right through it.
But a personalized email is different. If you take the time to write a heartfelt message, giving specific examples of your experience working with them, you will have a much higher success rate. You don’t even need to write the entire email from scratch. If you create a referral email template, you can quickly fill in the required sections and have a personalized request written in no time!
Remember, by connecting you with a referral, your client is doing you a big favor. The least you can do is follow up to thank them for their help!
While you could do this through email, an in-person thank you would be the best. If the referral worked out, you can tell them about how it went. If it didn’t work out, don’t mention it at all and simply thank them anyway. If you want, you could give a small gift of thanks, like chocolates or a gift card.
The thing about referrals is that they might not pay off right away. An established business isn’t likely to immediately drop their current insurance simply because someone referred you to them. But if, in a few years, their relationship with their insurance company has deteriorated or they are looking for better rates, you could expect a knock on your door!
If you’re looking for ways to expand your client base, we would be thrilled to help! By becoming an agent with Normandy, you’ll be joining a top-rated company specializing in workers’ compensation insurance in over ten states. We not only offer generous compensation but also pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. To learn more, contact us today!