A quick referral lesson for your consideration. Referrals are my favorite form insurance marketing.
One of my network partners sent me an email last week and asked me to join him for lunch. He will introduce me to an Independent Insurance broker, who he believes would make a great Strategic Partner for our firm. It’s funny, because I know the firm and they are great… and a competitor. I was eager to meet up at Yard House in Irvine Spectrum, one of my favorite places. Crunchy AHI Salad, mmmmmm.
Let’s cut to the chase: The lunch meeting went well [imho] and we’re set to circle back next Wednesday to brainstorm how we can “pro-actively” and not passively integrate each other’s businesses into our insurance marketing plans throughout the year.
This lunch meeting is important for two reasons. Tunnel Vision is a way to see the world through Tunnel Vision. This is what I mean.
This is a similar experience to your Asking for Referral Experiences?
To Self: What is the secret to that world-famous referral asking script of Referral Gurus?
It was ….
..Joe, I get compensated in two ways … blah blah blah …
Bob, I have a list of companies in your industry that I’ve been trying meet. Can you look here to see if any of them …?? Blah …
That’s so uncomfortably uncomfortable!
Sincerely, I believe that clients should be asked for referrals by me directly. Face to face is not the best way to get quality introductions. Blasphemy, you must be thinking. You understand, but I want you to hear me.
Is it really the best insurance marketing strategy S-Y-S -T-E? You can use to refer clients is to put your client in an unbalanced relationship? You say it’s unbalanced, but what do you mean? It’s now unbalanced. Your original solution was to meet the client’s needs. Based on that solution, they reviewed your proposal and hired you. They paid for the solution you provided. They are happy. They are in balance.
Now you are going to bring it out of balance. Now you are asking them to do far more than they initially thought. Now you are asking them to put their reputation at risk. You can offer them little or no value in return for their cooperation. This is why they feel uncomfortable, and you feel even more.
These last three paragraphs are a reminder that there are other ways to generate high-quality referrals. Think strategically, not only Old School Mantra.
This lunch meeting was an example of another important lesson in insurance marketing. I don’t just seek 1:1 referrals from people. My Strategic Referral Relationships are the people I work with to help me build strategic alliances. They know my clients and they know who I would consider a good Referral Partner. A Referral Partner who is more than a referral.
Do not just look for people to refer you to an insurance company. You should also be strategically hunting for other hunters. It is important to build a large network of business contacts who know you and what you do. This is only possible if you maintain those relationships over time. A S-Y-S -T-E -M is the best way to manage all these relationships effectively.
One of the most well-connected businessmen on the planet was one of my pleasures, and I was able to meet him at one of his talks. Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder/CEO at internationally renowned BNI/Business Network International. In his talk, he shared with us the S-YS-T-E–M he uses in managing his vast network. You can also find it in his book, “Truth or Delusion”, page 148. This system is used by some of the most respected authorities in Referral Marketing, including Tom Hopkins, Bob Berg and Bill Cates. It will be a hit with your clients as well as Strategic Referral Partners. The proven system they use is linked below.