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Seven Ways To Become More Referable

May 13, 2014

"Businessmen Shaking Hands" by ChaiwatIn the Reach Your Peak performance program, Beyond Insurance hears over and over, “I understand the importance of filling my prospect pipeline, but I don’t really have a plan.”  Or know-how.  Or have a network of raving fans.

All these excuses seem to cover up the most basic problem – most producers are hesitant to ask their friends and colleagues to support their business development initiative.  They feel like they’re putting them on the spot or begging.

Unfortunately, humans don’t take action when they are not confident.

How can you improve your ability to generate referral-based business opportunities while maintaining a sense that you are a trusted advisor, a professional?

How can you turn an activity that drains your energy into something easy and fun?

  1. Be referable.  Do you have a unique process?  Can your friends and professional colleagues explain what makes you stand out in the marketplace?
  2. Establish alliances with professionals who offer non-competing services to your client base.  You may be working with mid-size businesses’ CFOs.  These CFOs need accountants, attorneys, and auditors.  By establishing alliances with service providers who focus on your client base, you become part of their “trusted advisor” circle.
  3. Make sure your network knows what services you offer.  Do they appreciate your customer experience journey?  Do they understand that you are serving as a risk advisor not a procurer of insurance products and services?
  4. Create a referral network among your friends and colleagues.  Proactively introduce trustworthy professional advisors to each other.  Let these advisors know that you’ve referred them and that you’d expect the same.
  5. Provide valuable content that your network can share.  Invite your network to a breakfast or lunch seminar or webinar on a topic they would be interested in.  Send them pertinent information about regulatory changes that affect their business, or industry topics, or business trends.  Include them on your newsletter list.  In the newsletter, mention:  “If you received value from this article, please share it with your network (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter).”  Be sure to include the social media icons and links to make it easy to share your newsletter and other content.
  6. Become indispensable to the trade associations in your niche.  Offer to find an expert speaker for the association’s next meeting.  Volunteer to help with the association’s charities.    When the trade associations in your niche think about you, they’ll remember you — a reliable, trustworthy person who contributed time, energy, and expertise.
  7. Differentiate yourself with your network.  Remind them why you are remarkable – because you’re a Trusted Risk Advisor rather than a transaction-focused producer chasing the 90-day bid.  It is essential that you always give your network something positive to say about you.

How have you built a loyal referral network?

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