The secret to long term success in insurance sales or any kind of sales for that matter is having a profitable referral source. I mean someone who gives you steady business on a daily or weekly basis. It may be mutual business or seemingly unrelated, but yet profitable. How do I develop a profitable referral source? Let’s explore the three categories of referral sources.
Understand that we fall into three categories with our referral sources. As Business Networking International or BNI puts it as VCP. We are either visible, creditable or profitable. They may know us enough to talk to us on a regualr basis, which means we are visible to them. They may know us and trust us enough to refer us and know our reputation, which means we are creditible to them. Ultimately, we need to be known and trusted, and then we work towards being profitable. This takes time and commitment on both parties part. It is not an overnight solution. Let’s explore some examples of profitable referral source relationships.
Let’s say you are a financial planner looking for high end clients to invest with you and your firm. A good profitable referral source may be a landscaper. Follow the line of thinking here. Wealthy people hire landscaping companies to work in their yard. They typically do not do their own yard work and mowing. Therefore, you are working with the same clientele. The landscaper, if positioned right, could be a great way to meet the preferred clients. Another example may be a realtor would be a great profitable fit for a mortgage broker, because most people buying homes would need a loan for the purchase. Sometimes a mortgage broker may write a preapproval letter and need a realtor to refer the client to, so both can ultimately get paid by closing a sale.
Let’s take a florist with a great relationship with a wedding planner. How many wedding planners would it take to keep a florist busy all of the time? How about your trusted accountant with an estate planning attorney? When these types of recommendations come from a creditible source, there is no selling involved. The client knows they need the service and the trust comes through the our profitable referral source.
You need to seek out your best referral sources, whether it is a client, friend or family member. Then put together a game plan of how you can help each other’s business grow profitably. One way may be to refer clients to the other. Another way may be to help with marketing or website help. There are a number of ways to help each other. Just imagine if you had two to four profitable referral source relationships going each week. How many great referrals would be calling you asking you for your product or service? It is a game changer for your business, I guarantee that!
“Don’t concentrate on making a lot of money, but rather on becoming the type of person people want to do business with.” – Patricia Fripp
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.