Referrals: The Independent Insurance Agent’s Most Powerful Tool

“Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message.” – Mark Zuckerberg

There are so many marketing buzz words and phrases thrown at you every day: promotional advertising, event planning, content creation, data analysis, paid search, sponsorships… etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. As an independent insurance agent, you may be asking “Can someone just tell me the best way to grow my book of business?!” In fact, if you Google that very question, you’ll end up with (literally) 713,000,000 search results pointing you to about as many books. If you’ve read this far, you can guess our answer to the question: referrals are king when it comes to building your business. Here’s why:

Referrals are how we as people communicate value to one another, particularly in today’s congested marketplace where a friend’s opinion trumps advertising by many orders of magnitude. This isn’t to say that advertising isn’t important – you certainly need to bring new business to you in every way possible. But people trust their friends and family, and there’s nothing wrong with asking customers to refer you if they find your services valuable. In fact, clients will enjoy referring you if presented the opportunity in the right way because they know they’re giving friends something they need: a trusted resource that can provide valuable services. In this way, social proof is a legitimate form of currency in today’s society. If you’re afraid to ask for referrals, you need to flip that fear on its head by telling yourself that you provide a valuable service that others want. By asking for referrals you’re giving your customers the opportunity to build value in themselves because they can come to the aid of a friend or family member in need.

Skeptical of the importance of referrals? Here are just a few statistics:

  • 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. – Nielsen
  • 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. – Nielsen
  • 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. – Ogilvy/Google/TNS
  • 1 offline word of mouth impression drives sales at least 5x more than 1 paid impression, and much more (as much as 100 times more) for higher-consideration categories. – WOMMA
  • Referral Marketing generates 3-5x higher conversion rates than any other channel.

Needless to say, referral marketing is extremely important to your success as an insurance agent, and hopefully this article provides a fresh perspective on how asking for referrals actually helps your customers. Make sure to read the next blog post where we provide valuable tips on how to get the recommendations you need to take your business to the next level.

As a National Marketing Organization that works with over 5,000 independent agents, we understand the importance of generating new leads in order to grow your business. That’s why we work diligently to provide the resources necessary for successful marketing. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our agent partners, please contact us at marketing@berwickinsurance.com or 888-745-2320.

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