Getting referrals

Aug 17, 2007

  1. Kimber
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    Kimber Super Genius

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    If anyone out there is interested, I have a great informational piece on getting referrals. I'm willing to share, I just don't want to post a large piece, so if you want it just let me know. Also, I am always interested in talking to any agents who are looking for products and companies (any state). I can promise to give great support and the stongest possible comp, but I'll share even if you aren't looking. I think it is really important that we all work together as much as possible.
     
    Kimber, Aug 17, 2007
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  2. senior-advisor-indiana
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    senior-advisor-indiana Guru

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    Kimberly,

    Who are you with again? I am interested in your idea on getting referrals.
     
  3. tommyk
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    tommyk Guru

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    I am interested in the information on referrals also. You have my email address.
     
    tommyk, Aug 18, 2007
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  4. wilkin
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    wilkin Guru

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    Kimber,
    I would like your info on referrals too. You can reach me at [email protected].
    Thanks,
    Bill
     
    wilkin, Aug 18, 2007
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  5. Kimber
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    Kimber Super Genius

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    Didn't realize I could paste a long piece, 1st time on. I will next time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
    Kimber, Aug 20, 2007
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  6. honestagent
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    honestagent Guru

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    What's with the hooping here?!?? Can't we just eliminate some time by cutting to the chase to share the wealth; and of course in exchange, we'll share too???!? I mean, what's up?!?!
     
  7. James
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    James Guru

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    Obviously the file is too big?
     
    James, Aug 21, 2007
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  8. michellea
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    michellea Super Genius

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    I emailed and the response came back almost instantly, it was nothing new or what I expected it to be. She is a recruiter at an agent place. I was worried that I was going to start getting junk emails, but I have not yet. Here is what was sent:

    How to Get Referrals
    Author Unknown
    The goal of every professional, especially those in the financial services industry, is to reach the
    point where your current business generates all the income you need to maintain the lifestyle you
    desire. How do you reach that point, though? Referrals can play an important role in
    accomplishing this. Your client base can be a gold mine for you — when clients refer people they
    know, you can then tap into those individuals’ circles of acquaintances and the cycle is endless.
    The question then becomes, "​
    How do I ask for referrals?" There are many different approaches
    you can use when asking clients for referrals. The tips below give some different ideas and
    suggestions on how to make the most of your interactions with clients.

    · ​
    Make sure that your clients’ experiences with you are positive. If there is a problem, be
    sure to take responsibility and fix it immediately. This will build your clients’ trust in you
    and make them more willing to refer their friends and family to you.

    · ​
    In your conversations with clients, say something like, “Since most of my business comes
    from referrals...” to subtly let them know how important referrals are to your business.

    · ​
    Write an article for a local newspaper on how/when to refer and send reprints to your
    clients.

    · ​
    Call a local cable or radio station and offer to host a weekly talk show or appear as a
    guest on a financial program that already exists. Then be sure to announce it to your
    clients — that way, even if they are not able to catch the program when it is aired, they will
    know that you’re getting good publicity.

    · ​
    Attend seminars held by other professionals. Talk to the speaker and make a point to
    meet the people who are attending. Think of questions to ask beforehand to make the
    most of these new contacts.

    · ​
    Offer your clients incentives for referrals such as a gift certificate to their favorite
    restaurant.

    · ​
    Entertain a client with dinner or a sporting event and invite him/her to bring a friend or
    family member — or invite a client and a prospect.

    · ​
    Find out the names of professionals who your clients recommend to others and call these
    people to find out more about their services. They, in turn, may ask about your business,
    which will help to open the referral door.

    · ​
    Ask for referrals after a client makes an investment decision. This provides a great
    opportunity to ask if they know of anyone who could also profit from that investment
    opportunity.

    · ​
    Make sure your work is visible. Try to get coverage in the local media — by writing an
    article, holding a seminar, or offering an editorial comment. Your clients will be more likely
    to refer you if they know others also trust you.

    · ​
    Send a mailing at least quarterly — such as a newsletter, announcement, or card. Be
    creative, but most important; keep your name in front of your clients.

    · ​
    Emphasize your unique expertise and services. If you specialize in estate planning, let
    your clients know that. People want specific referrals so this allows your clients to
    categorize you, making it easier for them to offer your name when your types of services
    are needed.

    · ​
    When clients are especially pleased with your service, ask them if they would be willing to
    serve as references. Make it easy for them by getting a quote or two over the phone,
    editing it, and reading it back to them for their approval. You can then use these in
    brochures, newsletters, and to show prospective clients when they ask for references.

    · ​
    Be sure to maintain relationships with your own acquaintances. You never know when
    they might be able to refer you to someone.

    · ​
    Jog your clients’ memories about whom they might know by asking if they belong to any
    organizations, teams, or social groups. Then volunteer to speak at a group function or
    hold a seminar.
    Make sure you thank clients who refer friends and family to you. Thank them immediately,
    consistently, and sincerely. A simple phone call is all it takes to express your appreciation and
    also to reinforce how important referrals are to your business. A more effective thank you is a
    handwritten note. It provides a visible reminder of your contact with the client. To make your note
    stand out, hand address the envelope and use a commemorative stamp. Educational items, such
    as investment-oriented books or tapes with a handwritten post-it note make good gifts, too. For a
    more creative approach, a box of chocolates or gourmet food item personally delivered makes for
    a memorable thank you.
    Remember, persistence is the key when it comes to obtaining referrals. Don’t push too hard; your

    patience is often rewarded with meaningful referrals
     
  9. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    michellea,

    Thanks for sharing the "great informational piece on getting referrals".

    I agree, it sounds like all she is after is e-mail harvesting. (Is it time for the harvest moon already?)

    When she said she didn't, "want to post a large piece", I expected there to be pages and pages. If that is all there is to it then that pretty much confirms the "harvesting theory." A lot of us were born at night, but not many of us were born last night. LOL

    There is nothing new, or a magic way of getting referrals. The only thing that has ever worked for me regarding getting referrals is to provide superior customer service and staying in contact with my clients.

    My clients receive at least four written communications a year from me. Snail mail, not e-mail. Included in that four is a birthday letter, not a card. I also send out a "news letter" around the first of the year telling them what is going on in Jacqueline's and my life. It doesn't even have the word insurance in it.

    When Jacqueline and I got married the "news letter" that year, 2000, had a pic of both of us standing at the beach in the serf toasting each other with a glass of champagne. I received numerous calls from clients and one client said she the cut the pic out and had it matted and framed and is now sitting on her mantel. No, it wasn't my mother who did that. LOL

    I want my clients to know me, not only as their insurance agent, but also as a person/friend. It is much more difficult for them to cancel a policy they purchased from a "friend" than it is from an agent that they have only seen once and most probably doesn't return their phone calls either at all or in a timely manner.

    At the bottom of each communication I add a PS that says, "If you know any one else who I can help with their insurance needs I would appreciate it if you would give them my phone number, 877.633.0808."

    That alone has gotten me more referrals than anything else I have tried. Now, the bulk of the policies I write are referrals from my "friends" who have insurance with me.
     
  10. salpro22
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    salpro22 Guru

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    Thanks for the info Frank. Besides the birthday letter and newsletter that is sent out once a year what is the focus of the other two letters you send out to stay in contact?
     
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