Referrals maximize your Medicare book of business

Probably the most effective way to find your next client is by looking to the clients you already have.

Referrals are the Holy Grail of building your Medicare book of business. The credibility and trust you have built with one client automatically transfers to your new one, so you start from a hero status, not at ground zero, if your first client is a raving fan. Closing rates on referrals have always been high, too, which means referrals maximize your investment of time and energy into your business. And yet most agents still don’t ask their clients for referrals!

When I inquire as to why, many feel they haven’t earned or warranted them.  They think they haven’t built the connection that establishes the right to ask for and expect referrals. However, communication is the key to building any relationship, and oftentimes it’s the well timed, small outreaches that make us more memorable than any over the top gestures. When you communicate to create raving fans, get repeat business and generate referrals, you are simply making sure you are on the top of their minds when a friend, coworker or relative mentions a problem you can help solve.

Getting referrals is not nearly as hard as some sales people try to make it, but you do have to have a strategy. Here are my top 10 ways to stay in touch with clients:

 1. Organize your clients. Where is your list of clients right now?  If you’re like the average senior insurance agent, they’re on the floor of your back seat, stuffed in your leather portfolio, packed in your trunk or stashed in folders.  A lot of good they are going to do you in there. Get organized — at the very least, get your clients in an Excel spreadsheet. Trust me, you will be glad you did!

2. Use a Client Relationship Manager (CRM). Once you have your clients organized and electronically archived, take the next step and upload them into a CRM. This will allow you to conduct specific outreach campaigns, set up reminders and do a host of other structured, “high touch” activities. Free CRM obviously has no cost, but the most robust and agent-focused CRM I’ve seen is the Medicare Sales Engine.

3. Send a Thank You. This is the icebreaker for all your future communications. It sets the stage for elevating your clients to raving fans status.  Write them by hand (No rubber stamps!) and include a personal note to make it memorable.

4. Call them after 30, 60 and 90 days. The best time to solidify the sale and the relationship is during the reinforcement phase after the sale. Set yourself up to respond to service issues and product problems when you call and put yourself in the position to get repeat business and referrals. Show your client you care by asking how their family is doing and remember any health issues they may have gone through and needed your assistance with.

5. Remember them on special occasions. Your CRM is fantastic for reminding you about client birthdays, product anniversaries, annual reviews and more. These contacts have to be personal in nature to set them apart from what others are doing.

As you build your year-long strategy, the key is not to saturate your client with frivolous outreach or give them a sales pitch each time. You want to make sure they know you will stay in touch! I’ll share the remaining top 10 items next week.