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If you think gaining insurance referrals is more effort than it’s worth, you’re underestimating both the ease of gaining referrals and the impact of the payoff. Nielson found 84% of consumers trust recommendations or referrals over all other forms of marketing, and people referred by a friend are 4x more likely to make a purchase. Deloitte found those referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate than other customers.

With the right insurance prospecting software and a customer-focused plan, your agency can start a referral program of your own, growing your insurance family for years to come.

Get details on how to ask for a referral in our post “The Art of Asking for Referrals”

Make it Easy to Refer

The key to a successful referral program is that it’s easy to access. Get the word out about referring a friend using your agency software on your website, in your social media posts, and in other communications. Add a line at the bottom of each email or to your texts saying something as simple as “click here to refer a friend.” You can even add the option at your client portal sign-in. The more people see and have access to the opportunity to refer, the easier it will be to gain those referrals.

Identify Opportunities

Your team should also look for referral opportunities among your customers. Make it part of your regular check-ins asking, “Is there anyone you think would benefit from the same discounts we found?” or something similar. Again, make it easy here. Ask for a name and make the connection yourself, leaving less of a burden on your customers.

Utilize agency software like your CRM to identify connections between current customers and prospects. If you see an existing customer is in a close relationship with someone you’ve identified as a potential customer, ask them to make the connection.

The best time to ask for these referrals is after a positive experience: Close to 85% of customers say they’re willing to refer a friend after a positive experience. Use your marketing automation and CSR management systems to track good reviews and interactions and reach out afterward. A simple, “How was your experience?” rating followed by a “Want to refer a friend?” can boost your referral numbers.

See more on how marketing automation and CRM systems can boost your outreach here

Provide Incentives

Great service can only go so far to incentivize customers to make a referral – sweeten the deal with a special discount to both the referrer and the referred. Adding that small bonus will push those on the fence to take action.

Other incentives include making it a contest: raffle off a gift card or other valuable item to those who provide referrals within a specific time frame. Or, hold an event (speaker, web series, sponsoring tickets to a local sports game) and ask attendees to bring a friend. Make it clear you plan to reach out to their guests and ask for consent before getting in touch.

Discover how to adapt your strategies to a changing world in our post on digital insurance consumers

Make the Choice Easy

Gaining referrals is only one part of the process: you also need to close the deal. Leverage your excellent service and software to make the choice easy for your referred customers. Have a quality website where they can go to get information and see your services. Use integrated proposal creators and raters to give the best offers and multiple options, fast. Utilize integrated texting and your client portal to connect quickly and answer questions. Leverage all your resources to provide them with the best experience right from the start.

Get all you need to create a great first impression in our innovative Partner Platform agency management experience. Partner Platform is an all-in-one system designed to help you connect, serve, and grow your agency. With features like our integrated Proposal CreatorMarketing Automation ManagerProducer Results Manager CRM, and custom websites, Client Portal, and Mobile App, Partner Platform is the only system you need to grow and thrive.

Want to know more about how Partner Platform can help your agency grow? See for yourself: reach out to view a demo today.