A referral does not automatically mean you've gained a client.
When one of your clients refers you to one of their friends or family members, sometimes you're aware of it and sometimes you aren't. Often times, your client will let you know via email that they've referred you. Other times, you've asked for a referral, so they've responded to that request. However, sometimes you have no idea until you're conversing with the referred person and they let you know who referred them to you.
So, what is happening during this time where you've been referred, and you find yourself waiting by the phone for them to call?
They're searching for you online.
This is why it's absolutely vital you have an online presence. Whether it's a website, social media profiles, a blog, or all of the above, if they can't find you, the attitude towards the referral changes. They will probably wonder why they can't find you and may stumble upon another agency's website and check out their offerings instead. So, at the very least, have a website. There's a couple different ways you can do that if you don't have one already:
- If you're a self-starter and somewhat tech-savvy, there are some websites that help you to create your own website. A couple examples include wix.com and wordpress.com.
- If you want a really great website (and this is the route I suggest you take), then contact a local web design agency and work with them to create your website. Yes, it will take longer and be more work, but a website is an important investment. Your website is your virtual front door, and you want your prospects to find your website organized and visually appealing. And be sure it's mobile-friendly because Google ranks mobile-friendly sites higher in its search results than those that aren't.
To drive the point home, Carl Maerz of Rocket Referrals said this:
"After an agency is recommended to a prospect most do research online before pulling the trigger. It turns out that 81 percent of buyers ultimately judge a business based on an examination of its website. If the website is a dud, your hard-earned referral is stopped dead in its tracks."
So, we aren't kidding. Your web presence is so important.
They're comparing you against their current provider.
Sometimes a client might refer someone to you that already has an agent, but that doesn't mean that referral is necessarily lost. It just means that you have to present yourself in a way that requires the prospect to consider your services over their current ones.
How can you do this when you haven't had that initial contact? Send them an email, call or send a handwritten letter letting them know so-and-so referred them to you, and you just wanted to provide any information or answer any questions they might have. In addition, this would be a great time to send a handout to them that lays out the products you offer. Offering this information at this stage shows the prospect that you're there to answer questions and you're interested in taking care of them without being pushy.
They're busy, but they're planning on contacting you.
We all (me, especially) get somewhat impatient when we think or know that something is supposed to happen. However, people are seriously busy. The referred person might be planning on calling you, but they just haven't had time. A good plan of action is to do what I said above. Send them information and let them know you're available when they're ready to chat. They'll appreciate that you're eager to help, yet not being pushy.
Want to learn more about referrals & the modern insurance consumer?
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