Five Ways to Build a Referral Network for Your Insurance Business

Hate asking for referrals? You’re not alone. It can be difficult to ask for anything, especially in a professional context. But people are much more likely to give you a call if someone they trust has recommended you.

Here are some ways to make it less awkward to ask for—and get—referrals.

Make it an official program. What’s less awkward? Asking each customer for the names and contact info of three friends or family members who could use your insurance expertise—or telling them you have a referral program that they might be interested in?

For most people the second tactic will be less awkward—because you’re offering something, not asking for something.

Your referral program can take many shapes—but the important thing is that there’s an established, even automated protocol. Rewards could take many forms—a gift card to a local business, for instance. You could even establish referral partnerships with businesses in your area.

Consider your cards. Hand out two business cards—one for your customer, and one for the friend. Mention your referral program and the rewards they could get for passing your info along, if it results in new business.

You could even write “referred by__” on the card for the friend. This makes it easier to track where your referrals come from.

Build the ask into your emails. Asking for referrals in your email is much easier than doing it in person. Include the ask in your email signature—and mention the rewards people get for sending referrals. Instead of asking people to give up a friend’s contact information, ask them to forward your contact info to someone else.

Reassure customers. Referring people can be scary. If you harass them with seventeen phone calls or endless marketing messages per day, they look bad. You have to reassure your referrers that you won’t do that.

Let referrers know you treat referrals very well and never barrage them with marketing communications they don’t want—both in person and in writing.

Talk about your referral program on social. Make sure people hear about it—on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and wherever else you reach your customers.

Referrals are too valuable to leave to chance. Build an established referral program, make asking a routine, and include the ask in your written communications. With these steps, you should be able to increase your referral business considerably.

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