It’s no secret to most Sales Pros that the best leads come from referrals. And when we can get several referrals from the same source, at the same time, it saves us valuable time to devote more energy to closing sales. But, the trick is to get leads that will turn into sales and not just wasted effort.
So, how can you increase the odds that you will get god referrals? Target your search for referral sources, just as you do for prospects. For example, if your target is to sell Auto Insurance to people who drive expensive cars and are very good drivers, would you prospect to the local high school students? No, you would probably direct your campaign to neighborhoods with higher valued homes, to business networking groups where you could meet lots of business owners, and civic and professional associations where you would also meet owners and managers of local businesses and other business professionals.
So, how can you leverage your Insurance Agency to get better networking sources? Most of you probably already belong to at least one networking group, like Business Networking International (www.bni.com). Why only one? Why not join a local civic group (Rotary – www.rotary.org; Ruritan – www.ruritan.org) or just start one of your own. How? Who wants to grow their business? Real Estate Agents, Mortgage Brokers, Cell Phone Reps, Business Supply Sales Reps, Radio Advertising Reps, the list goes on. Pick two and you’ve got the start of your own new networking group.
How about neighborhoods near your office? Have you thought about going after the low hanging fruit right next door? If you’re trying to sell Property and Casualty Insurance, don’t most homeowners need Home and Auto Insurance, and maybe a Boat Owners Policy, Umbrella Policy, etc? And they’re close to your office. How convenient…for both you and the prospect!
I know a very successful Agency Owner, Ryan Atkinson of Atkinson Insurance in Mechanicsville, VA. Ryan not only does direct mail campaigns to targeted neighborhoods, but he also participates in neighborhood activities. Ryan advertises in the neighborhood’s newsletters and attends the neighborhood events in the fall and the spring. He told me that this year he was not only the only Insurance Agent at the events, he was the only Retail participant at the events. That’s amazing. Here are several hundred families in an area that is the perfect target for your marketing and Ryan is the only one that shows up to try and build relationships.
Look around your area. Are you the “Network Navigator” for your business? Can you be? It’s the most effective, low cost way to get great sales.
Don Meincke, CIC, CPIA, LUTCF
Assistant Vice President
Southern Insurance Company of Virginia