Aiming to bring in new insurance customers? Insurance referral marketing can be a very effective marketing strategy — provided you adhere to a few best practices
Clients who know what it's like to work with you first-hand are the very best kind of advertising there is. Not only can they sing your praises as an insurance agent or broker, but they can also help rake in qualified insurance leads to help you grow.
The irony, of course, is that you can’t buy the messaging — you have to earn it through superior customer service and a sincere dedication to providing your clients with coverage they count on when they need it. The payoff potential, however, is significant.
Building a successful insurance referral program can take time, and to remain sustainable, you need a solid foundation. Here are some do’s to do and don’ts to avoid to help make sure yours is rock solid:
Do state your terms in black and white. In addition to surveying existing customers and connecting with beneficiaries, you can also offer rewards for successful insurance referrals. Make sure your insurance website has a page dedicated to your insurance referral program’s terms and conditions. It should include program eligibility, details about rewards, any restrictions that may apply, and cancellation terms. A quick Google search should yield numerous examples, as well as templates.
Don’t forget your manners. Another way to reward your insurance customer for a positive testimonial or referral is to send them a personalized thank you message. When your customers feel truly appreciated, they are more likely to advocate on your behalf, and a handwritten card or note will go a surprisingly long way in making them feel valued.
Do think outside of the box. Just because you haven't signed someone up as a customer doesn't mean they can't refer you to other people who need health insurance. Anyone who has worked with you or who can vouch for your integrity and sound business practices is a potential referrer — that includes everyone from your banker to someone who serves on a charitable board with you.
Don’t forget to ask. Obviously, you need referrals to build an insurance referral program. If your supply is running low, could it be because you’re not asking for them? It can feel uncomfortable, but to launch and maintain a successful program, you need to present the idea of referrals to your clients and then ask them if they are willing to recommend others to you (or refer you to them). As with anything, it’s all in the approach. Try adding referral program reminders to your invoices, for instance, and posting about it on social media.
Do acknowledge what you’re asking for.. The bottom line is that you should approach each potential referral partner with what they need from you in mind, not the other way around. Your insurance clients know they’re helping you grow your book of business when they give you a referral. Acknowledge that, thank them, reward them, and, most importantly, continue to serve their needs to the best of your ability as an insurance agent or broker. The insurance referral process doesn’t have to feel purely transactional to work.
Don’t feel like you have to hit up every insurance client. You know how the saying goes: “Birds of a feather flock together.” If you ask for referrals from the most problematic clients, expect to grow the number of challenging clients you will have to contend with.
Do work with what you’ve got first. If you’re still not sure where to start building a lucrative insurance referral marketing program, look at the customer right in front of you and begin there. The first step is building better relationships with existing insurance customers. If you take good care of your clients and show them the value you’re providing in palpable ways, they can offer an infinite number of referrals.
Whether you're rebuilding your insurance book of business after a tough year or starting completely from scratch, insurance referral marketing can be your ticket to more sales. Once you've identified who you can ask for referrals, created a pipeline for insurance referrals to contact you, and decided how you'll reward referring customers, you’ll be well on your way to creating a more stable insurance business with a higher income.