I wanted insurance referrals, desperately. And I didn’t know what to do about it. I hated prospecting the old way. You know, cold calling and asking friends and family to buy my insurance products.
So what did I do? I studied direct marketing and unique prospecting tips from top producers. That helped me make a big breakthrough. Insurance referrals where not so difficult anymore. And I was actually having fun. Here is one of my favorites.
About 20 years ago, I read Endless Referrals. I’ve forgotten everything except one great idea, which I’ve tweaked and successfully refined (I need to read that book again).
It’s been a while since I’ve used this networking technique personally, but it works really well for regular networking and casual events.
My favorite part is the use of a postcard follow-up. Here’s how it basically goes…
Step 1: Be The Center Of Influence Instantly.
First, lets say you are at a Chamber of Commerce Meeting and you approach one or two people. You begin a conversation and ask a few basic questions about what they do. You let them do all the talking. People love it when you let them talk about themselves.
Side Bar: (If you want a tip on being a great conversationalist read this. Otherwise skip to the end of this paragraph). ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, by Dale Carnegie, is a must read. I read it about 25 years ago. But the one thing I remember to this day is how to be a great conversationalist without speaking. For example, if someone says they own an ice cream shop and they specialize in banana splits, you say, “Banana Splits?” and then they will go on with more details on their banana splits.
They might say something like, “And my hot fudge topping is to die for”, and you say, “Hot Fudge?” etc. etc. Read the book for more details on this. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going by letting the other person speak about their business. The end result is that they remember that you where interested in their business.
So now you have gathered 5 business cards and discovered a few things about each of their businesses or professions.
OK Brian, how do you get referrals?
Step 2: As you meet new people and learn about their businesses, now you start to help these people get what they want. This is key. Because everyone else is either not really engaged in networking, or they are wondering how they are going to make a sale, find a joint venture partner, or maybe they are not focused at all on their goals at this meeting because of a ‘fire’ they have to put out at work. It could be anything.
But you are different. You are the one who is learning about other peoples businesses, and you might be able to help them make connections they couldn’t or wouldn’t make on their own. The goal is insurance referrals (or financial planning referrals, it’ll work in any industry).
For example, if you meet a telecommunications representative and you just finished up a conversation with a real estate office manager who was having problems with her phone system you could bring them together. “Hey Jennifer, this is Sally. Sally was was telling me that her phone system is terrible. Maybe you could help her figure out the problem?”
Now you’ve helped them make a connection, and potentially helped them solve a problem.
Do this with as many people as possible. People will appreciate you, and you will make a big impact. Don’t expect anything in return. Just help other people get what they want.
You’ll probably get a few insurance referrals right off the bat because of your selfless assistance of other professionals. But we aren’t done yet.
It’s just one way to work the room comfortably, and it’s fun.
Step 3: The next day, send a postcard with your picture, and a small advertisement melded into it like this.
‘Nice Meeting You’ Insurance Referral Postcard Front:
‘Nice Meeting You’ Insurance Referral Postcard Back:
While most people are putting business cards in a drawer or maybe sending an email to a few people they met, you are making a bigger impact. You helped other professionals make a few connections, potentially solved of few of their problems, and maybe they grew their businesses as well.
And, you are giving them a little Wow factor with your postcard. It’s the added touch that puts you head and shoulders above everyone else.
Who are they going to think of when it comes time to referring a friend or family member? They guy who only calls once in a while for policy reviews, or the guy or gal who helps them get what they want, and follows up with unique IMPRESSIONABLE marketing pieces like this insurance referral technique?
In addition, your postcard will generate a few leads for you over time. See the postcard and the example USP.
So now you can put these people in your software program and follow up with them through direct mail and email.
If you liked this tip, be sure you are get my referral marketing mini course.
Let me know how this works for you.