Referrals mean business
By Julie Gelbwaks Gewirtz
Gelbwaks Executive Marketing Corp.
What do you want to hear first? The bad news or the good news? Let's get the negative out of the way: The bad news is that our country is currently in a rough economic situation, a situation about which the media consistently remind us all. So much of what is being seen and heard is extremely pessimistic. The good news is that there are still some people out there buying long term care insurance (LTCI). I know this to be true, but I also know that more and more agents are shying away from this sale because they think that people won't buy in this economic environment.
If you are one of those agents... stop! Put a positive spin on your thoughts. You can and will make sales if you get your head in the game and don't let outside influences change your view on one very important thing: The fact is that people need this coverage. The need has not changed one bit. They want you to show them how to take this flight to safety, so get out there and make your move.
That being said, in order to make LTCI sales you have to see people... lots and lots of people. And how do you do that? Referrals, referrals, referrals -- it's the name of the game. Think of this as a shared responsibility between you and your existing clients.
Here are a dozen tips on how to get more LTCI referrals in your day-to-day business:
1) Get the names of your clients' advisors and ask to speak with them. The financial planner, CPA or attorney can all be extremely valuable resources, and this will get you in the door. Come across as a knowledgeable, confident educator and you could become the LTCI resource they call on for all of their clients. This is a goldmine. Do it correctly and you won't be sorry.
2) Send a Thanksgiving card to your clients -- instead of a Christmas card. A Thanksgiving card really will stand out, and you want to be the one they remember. The next time they think of LTCI, they will think of you and tell their friends about it.
3) Invite your clients to an event and ask them to bring someone. This will reinforce your relationship with your client and give you more of a presence and confidence level when meeting the new prospect.
4) Personally call your clients on their birthday. There is nothing like that personal touch. The more your clients like you and feel connected to you, the more they will be willing to refer you.
5) When you hear someone say "I just had a senior moment," ask them if they have purchased their LTCI yet. This common phrase is a great conversation starter, and it really makes people think.
6) Give $100 to a charity of your client's choice as a referral gift, or make a donation at policy delivery. Be seen as a generous, caring individual. What goes around comes around. And it will come back to you in droves.
7) Always send thank-you notes after placing a policy or receiving a referral. You cannot go wrong with gestures of appreciation. It only makes you that much more appealing as a person.
8) Take a client and six of their closest friends out for his/her 65th birthday party. Don't talk about LTCI and leave early so that they will talk about you positively. People enjoy being acknowledged -- especially from the person they would least expect it from.
9) Create a "referral culture" and say the word as much as possible. Replace the word "client" with "referral." You will not forget to ask for referrals if the word is part of your everyday vocabulary.
10) Send an annual review letter in addition to a few newsletters each year. This makes your clients aware of the fact that you are still committed to them, as well as to this business. It will make them more likely to give your name out before anyone else's when they do have an LTCI referral.
11) Send a letter to your client that says, "Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your business?" Include a referral card. Once again, people love to be recognized for making the right choice. In addition, they want to share that with others they know.
12) Ask for referrals when taking the application -- in a creative way. Bring a letter, an outline of your speech and an envelope with a stamp on it. When you get to the hobby question on the application, use it to find out about the organizations they belong to, who they play golf with, etc. Then, ask for a name and address of someone you could send your information to so that you may possibly be able to set up a speaking engagement there.
- Who do you care about that you think should look into this?
- What kind of person are you: One who holds things close to the vest, or one who likes to share the good things they learn about with their friends and family?
- How are you going to feel if your brother, sister, friend or someone you are involved with regularly ends up in an LTCI situation and you never told them about long term care insurance?
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