Asking for referrals is an obvious way of growing your Life Insurance business, but for some advisers this doesn’t come naturally. It may feel awkward, or as if you are bothering or asking for too much from your customers.
On the contrary, you are actually doing them a favour – as long as you are doing it easily and free of risk.
Socially, referrals are a way of helping one another by recommending quality products and companies.
Referrals are also a cost-effective way of creating a strong and successful business without breaking the bank. A referral program however should not be boring and does require strategic thinking. You have to have a strong referral marketing strategy in place to reap the rewards.82% people say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase.… Click To Tweet
Here are 7 marketing ideas to assist advisers in getting more referrals:
1. Have a Referral Talk-Path and Practice It
Make sure to have a talk-path worked out and don’t rehearse it off like a parrot. Try to remember key-words that will make the pitch stronger.
Role-play the pitch with team members and ask them to question you so that you are kept on your toes. The practice will make you stronger when speaking to actual prospects.
Be specific. You want your client to recall one or two people who could use your help, so don’t make the request too broad.
For example, instead of saying “Hey, do you know of anyone who would be interested in getting life-insurance cover?” Instead ask “Do you know anyone like yourself, with life insurance needs, who could use my services?”
The more personal you make the request, the more likely it will be remembered.
If your client is a Millennial or Gen X, take into account a couple of nuances:
- Time is of the essence. Make the request easy for them. They won’t do anything if it’s going to take time. Instead of wasting their precious time with a phone call or meeting, create something which they can access from a mobile phone or on social media which will increase the chances of them sending you a referral.
- Make it personal. They want to see brand authenticity before advocating for you. Write copy that reflects your brand’s personality, incorporate their name and photo as much as possible when contacting directly. Make it personal, this generation do not subscribe to typical marketing blurb.
- Social Sharing. Give them options to tag friends and post on other social platforms. This is how they refer – they do not pick up the phone and call a friend to tell them.
- Reward. As with any referral program rewarding is the key for converting. Surprise super-advocates with additional rewards to show your appreciation. This is a tech and money savvy generation so reward with online vouchers, credit back to policy, gadgets and anything tech-money related. This is also a generation that likes to give back to the community, include options to donate proceeds to a charity and/or local community.
2. Make Referrals Risk-Free
The top reason for people to be hesitant about referring a service is that they fear looking bad if that service doesn’t end up being as great for the next person. Their reputation is essentially on the line.
Make sure that your ship is a well-oiled engine:
- Always respond to clients on time.
- Always return phone calls.
- Have reasonable competitive rates.
- Go the extra mile.
Also make sure that your clients know you are doing this. Show how committed you are to these standards by putting together an Infographic or video with statistics and overview of your turnaround times and service levels. You should also create a few short customer testimonials to showcase on your website and social media channels.
3. Lead Magnets and Push Notifications
You need to make it easy for people visiting your website or App to give them the option to send a message or email to a friend, who they believe may have a life insurance need.
The only way to do this is to make sure that your site and App is serving compelling content relevant to your audience. Long-term insurance is still to this day a complex product for consumers to understand. Make sure your content is not only about your products. Educate your visitors on the best value product for them based on their current circumstances.
Include a slide-in box on your web pages with has a clear call-to-action and inspiring header, a great free tool to utilize for your website is one by Hubspot called, Leadin. Essentially it’s a slide-in widget which is an unobtrusive pop-up banner on your webpage allowing you to convert website visitors into leads capture via a lead flow incorporating CTAs (call-to-actions) type forms.
Example: Create a page requesting existing policy holders to log-in and update their personal information, then creating a slide-in directing them to your referral program webpage.
Incorporate push-notifications in your App, alerting existing policy holders of any new changes. Pushing them back to opening the App will give you an opportunity to send them to your referral program details.
4. Customer Reviews
There are a few ways which asking for customer reviews can help your referral program, so it’s best to keep up to date with what each social media platform can offer.
Facebook – here are a couple of ways which you could see immediate results from:
- Get Customers to Like Your Page and Share your Content
If you could get just a few people each month to post about your insurance services or share your insurance content, this could significantly increase the odds of getting more people to like your Facebook Page and learn about what you have to offer.
67% of people say they’re more likely to purchase a product after a friend or family member shared it via social media or email. Just make sure your online content, is worth sharing!
- Get Customers to Rate Your Service
Activate the ratings tab on Facebook, you will need to be set up as a Local Business in order to have this feature. Ask the person face-to-face to give you a review, this method has a higher conversion rate vs asking via email.
- Sponsored Posts to Friends of People Who Already Like Your Page
This type of sponsored post will be shown to friends of people who already like your page and is a highly effective method.
The post will say “John Adams likes this” – this works well as people are generally more likely to be interested in something which their friends are interested in.
You could also set up your Facebook advert to target a specific audience.
For example, if you want to sponsor a post linking back to an article on your website designed for your Millennial target market – you can set the ad based on age group, geographical area and even interests and hobbies. As per below:
LinkedIn – Advisers should be asking for ‘Recommendations’ from their existing clients. By having many recommendations from clients not only shows credibility, but connections of the client will see this pop-up in their news feeds.
5. Referral Reward Program
Set up a fun insurance referral program with rewards, which will get your clients talking! Promote it and make sure that it has an easy-to-follow procedure. Make it a double-sided referral program, so that both referrer and friend get rewarded.
Here are a few ideas to say “Thank-You” for a referral:
- Credit of X on your Life Cover policy
- X value premium discount
- Gift card to local merchant
- Monthly and Annual draw to win vouchers, movie tickets, gadgets
- Donation to a charity
Include an easy option to refer more than one person and have a monthly draw for bigger prizes such as a gift card, spa voucher or wine hamper.
Get people excited about it by thanking and sharing your winners name on your blog, newsletter and social media.
Also think about who or what kind of referrals you are seeking. Make sure that the reward program is something that would appeal to that demographic.
For example, if you are looking to attract more baby boomers as clients, make sure that they identify with the reward program. They are not necessarily the most tech-savvy group of people, so your social media account may not be the most effective means of capturing their interest. They are probably more likely to act on an insert in your monthly newsletter.
If you’ve got the knowledge, why not share it? If you do – you may just meet your next customer by doing so.
Host a free seminar for your clients and ask them to invite their friends and family. Have a specific topic in mind based on who you are inviting.
Here are a few examples of topics to cover:
- Retirement planning
- Financial planning for new parents
- How much life cover do I really need?
For example, if you want to cover retirement planning, look for topical issues which are of interest to people – like any potential changes to tax legislation, which will impact retirement planning. If you are not totally comfortable on the subject, why not tap into your network and invite a specialist or a unique character who will attract people to come to your seminar.
Also remember to follow up with attendees after the seminar – but don’t come on too strong! Do it subtly. A great way of doing this is by asking attendees to complete a feedback form at the seminar, whereby they can share their thoughts on the seminar. You could then call them to follow up and address any comments or suggestions which they made on the form. You could invite them to your office and have an in depth discussion, should they be interested in hearing what you have to offer.
7. Cell Phone Contacts
If your customers don’t have your contact information on hand, you are making it very difficult for them to recommend you to their family and friends.
Insist on getting your contact information into their cell phone – even if you have to program it in yourself!
Explain that if there is ever an emergency situation, your details will need to be on hand.
It not only looks to the client like you really want to be available to them but you are also making it easy for them to pass on your details. Plus sharing of contact information becomes easier with the popular use of Instant Messaging Apps like Whatsapp.
Here are 6 Referral Reward program examples working right now in Insurance and other industries:
OUTsurance, a direct-to-consumer insurance company offer a ‘Load Your Referral’ for existing policy holders. Existing clients get a premium discount for every person who joins because of them. Using a simple to complete form:
Northeast Insurance services offer a “Refer a friend and win’ program. Asking existing clients to have their friends call, mention their name to be entered into a monthly draw to win prizes ranging from iPad’s to gift vouchers.
Amour Insurance customer referral program is a simple concept ‘Recommend us to a friend or family member and tell them to mention your name when they contact us. When they sign up as an Armour customer, we’ll treat you to a night at the movies.‘ They also go into mentioning a few ideas on how to get your friends to contact the company.
American Express offers a referral rewards program. The more people you refer, the more rewards you receive.
LifeTime Planning offer a simple 3-step process to refer-a-friend to receive a £25 Amazon gift voucher. An instant reward for referrals.
A great referral reward program is just the first step. How you execute it is the most important. Don’t let customers have to try find it. Shout about it across all your media channels.
For example, DirectTV produced an advert which they then shared across multiple channels. The commercial goes shows just how easy it is to refer-a-friend and the reward offered. Plus adding a little humour went a long way.