In the 1980s, I was very active in the Boy Scouts of America with my two sons Jeremy and Will. I was an active member on the board of trustees for the Methodist Church, plus, I was moderating weekly LUTC classes, providing training in the Regional Metropolitan Branch Offices and constantly attending the advanced sales training classes offered by MetLife. Even though I was working less than 20 hours per week on my sales and was taking most of the summer off each year for Boy Scout Summer Camp, I was still able to consistently earn a significant six-figure income.
You may be asking yourself how I was able to do all these things and still maintain my sales. The secret to my success was that, within just 18 months of entering this business, I was getting the majority of my new sales from client referrals. And, I wasn't asking for them -- that's the huge insider secret most agents are missing.
If you want to succeed long-term in this business, consistently earn a significant six-figure income, have more fun and work less, then you must find a way to stop prospecting. Isn't prospecting the most time-consuming and frustrating part of your business? If all you had to do were to meet with qualified and motivated prospects, how many hours would you need to work each week?
Get people to refer their friends and family to you
If you want people to refer you to their friends and family, without you asking them for a referral, then you must make yourself referable. There are several critical parts to making yourself referable, and they are actually easy to implement:
- You must solve a real, immediate problem that people have. You must be known for solving a specific problem for people and become known as the expert for those skills. Salesmen are the people who chase after us, hungry for a sale; experts are people we actively seek out, as they have money in hand. In my case, I became the recognized expert for helping families to qualify for college financial aid.
- You must be doing a good, thorough fact-find with everyone. Help people to define and understand the problems they want to solve. Many people only have a vague idea of the problems they face, and can get lost while finding a solution. You must help your prospects to become emotionally involved and show them you are more concerned with helping them solve their problems than you are about making a sale.
- You must under-promise and over-deliver. Why do people buy from you? Would you agree that one of the major reasons is because they trust you? They believe what you say is what you mean. So, to become referable, exceed your customers' expectations and give them more than you promise. Little things like answering your e-mails every day, having a live person answering the phone when it rings, showing up to meetings on time and delivering when you say you will can make your refer-ability skyrocket.
- You must follow-up on every part of the sales process. Make it easy for your clients to do business with you. Every part of the sales process -- from the initial contact, to personally delivering the policy -- is equally important. If you follow-up, the client will feel important and that you care.
- You must keep in touch with your clients. In order to increase customer loyalty and get repeat sales and referrals, the client needs to remember your name and know how to find you. The more you stay in contact with your customers, the stronger your relationship with them becomes. The stronger the relationship, the more business and referrals you can expect from them. So stay in touch -- always.
- You must become the recognized name in your local community. You don't have to be rock star famous to be recognized as an authority in your field. You just have to begin to get the word out. Your goal is to be the person that people think of whenever your field is mentioned. Offer a workshop at your office, church or community center. Advertise this event in community calendars and newspapers. Call up your local news stations and offer yourself as the subject of an interview. By making one listing or call at a time, you'll begin to make a name for yourself.
Another idea is to contribute to public discussions. Write letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines that cover your field. You may offer an alternate viewpoint or simply compliment them on a well-written article. The more people see your name in connection with your subject, the more they'll recognize you as an authority in your field.
Can you make yourself referable and earn a significant six figure income?
Stop putting your emphasis on making a sale and, instead, shift your efforts towards helping people and providing better service. Build impeccable relationships with your clients so that they become long-term repeat buyers. Focus on your service and become the recognized name in your local community and you will soon become incredibly referable as satisfied clients start to tell all their friends and family about how you have helped them.
Remember: Just believe in what you do, be there for your clients, and you will be rewarded.
*For further information, or to contact this author, please leave a comment and your e-mail address in the forum below.