An insurance referral program is one of the best ways for insurance agents to find new customers and generate new policy sales. Indeed, nothing warms up a potential customer better than a glowing review of your services from a trusted friend, colleague, or family member. By working to earn these referrals in a systemized way, you’ll be able spark a meaningful number of new sales.
Creating an insurance referral program isn’t the most difficult thing in the world, but it does take some strategic planning and commitment. Here are seven things to do to make yours a success.
1. Create incentives to reward your customers for sending you referrals
“What’s in it for the customer?” is a question that insurance agents should be able to answer about every one of their consumer interactions. When it comes to an insurance referral program, there can be great value in providing incentives such as a gift card or cash bonus to customers who refer you to consumers who ultimately buy a policy from you. You can even consider giving an additional reward to the newly referred customer. Just make sure that the gifts you’re giving away cost less than what you usually pay to acquire a new customer.
2. Provide great customer service
Every good insurance referral program is built on top of a practice of great customer service. As independent agent Eric Hardiman put it, “If a consumer has a negative experience, I could offer them $500, but they’ll never refer me to anyone.” By being attentive, honest, and consistent in your customer service, you can lay the groundwork for a successful insurance referral program.
3. Remember: You’re helping your customers help their friends
Agents can sometimes be apprehensive about asking their customers to refer them to their friends. That’s why it’s important to remember that you’re doing your customers a favor by empowering them to help their friends get an affordable insurance policy from an agency that’s committed to supporting them with quality service. You can pitch your insurance referral program to them by asking if they have any friends whom you might be able to help save money on their insurance. After all, who doesn’t like helping out their friends?
4. Create a consistent outreach cadence
You miss out on 100% of the insurance referrals you don’t ask your customers for. Using a spreadsheet or your customer relationship management software, you can keep track of how long it’s been since your customers signed on with you, and how long it’s been since you last asked them if there’s anyone who could benefit from your services. You might decide to call each customer every three months, or every six months, or once a year. The important thing is just making sure you have a plan for executing on your insurance referral program.
5. Make your insurance referral program visible on your website and social channels
An easy way to scoop up a few extra referrals is to feature your insurance referral program prominently on your website and social channels. Create a page on your website that includes the rules and incentives of your program, alongside a form your customers can fill out to refer their friends to you. Then, periodically share this link to your customers through your email newsletter and social media channels, if you have them.
6. Give your agents a referral commission bonus
If you reward your producers every time one of their customers refers a friend, family member, or colleague to your agency, you give them an additional incentive to provide top-tier customer service at all times. In addition, they’ll never forget to keep your insurance referral program top of mind when checking in on their existing customers.
7. Celebrate your wins in public
Every new referral is a cause for celebration. You’re strengthening your relationship with your customers and your community, and helping your customers and their friends insure their most valuable possessions and the people they love at an affordable price. So why not give your referrer and new customer a shoutout by sharing the news on your email list, social channels, or website? The success of your insurance referral program is a win-win-win, and you shouldn’t be shy about sharing those wins with your customers.
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Building out a successful insurance referral program takes time, but following these steps will allow you to begin the process of creating a valuable pipeline of new policy sales.
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