Eliminate prospecting by making yourself referable

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop


What if you didn’t have to spend all your time and money finding and attracting new people to your business?

What’s the most important thing you can do to grow your business, increase your sales, earn a larger income, be more profitable, work fewer hours, have more time to spend with your family and friends and enjoy life? Can you guess what it is? Isn't that your ultimate goal for your business?

Then learn how to stop prospecting. You heard me right. And, no I’m not crazy! And, yes you can do it! Consider, what’s the most time consuming, tedious, stress-producing and expensive task in your sales career? Isn’t it prospecting? How much of your time and money is spent every week finding and attracting new prospects?

What if you didn’t have to spend all your time and money finding and attracting new people to your business? Imagine, if you had a continuous flow of high quality prospects walking through your door every week. How much easier and profitable would your business be? Isn’t that what we all dream of?

Have you ever looked with envy at a top producer because he/she seems to have a never-ending flow of high quality people to see? Have you ever had any of the following thoughts?
  • That producer is very lucky. He/she has a circle of family and friends that just feeds him/her business.
  • Or, "He/she is connected and doesn’t have to prospect?"
  • Or, "He/she just fell into a niche market loaded with lots of good people calling him or her."
The truth is that all the top producers have learned how to stop prospecting. Some of them were lucky and just stumbled onto it by accident, while others have worked very hard to make it happen.

So how do you stop prospecting? You set up a system to make yourself referable. Yep, that’s all there is to it. That’s the ultimate secret to success in this business and every other business. Every one of the top businesses and top producers out there relies on referrals for a major portion of their new sales.

And believe it or not, you can do it, too. You just have to learn how to make yourself referable. Remember that it's the process of doing business with you that makes you referable, not your products or credentials. And, it is not going to happen unless and until your clients feel comfortable telling others about you.

Also consider, when a person refers someone to you, they are taking a risk that you might make the them look bad in front of their friend or acquaintance. So, to be more referable, you must reduce that risk.

Here are the first steps to making yourself referable.
  • You must specialize — You must become the expert in one area and become the respected advisor people trust and want to see. What specific problem can you solve for people? How will they benefit from meeting with you? Give your clients well researched and thought out advice.

  • You must keep your promises — We’re sure you’ve heard the saying, "Under-promise and over-deliver." Why would they recommend you if don’t return phone calls and keep your promises? Providing your clients with impeccable service and help them to solve problems, even if you don't make any money on the solution.

  • You must stay in touch with your current clients — Out of sight, out of mind is a deadly mistake. Why would anyone refer their friends and relatives to you if they never hear from you? Maintain consistent contact with your clients through annual reviews, monthly newsletters and free educational workshops.

  • You must encourage referrals There are only three reasons someone will refer work your way:
    • They want to help you
    • They want to help the person they are referring
    • They want to look good in other peoples' eyes.
    If you want more referrals, you need to encourage these motivations and make it easy for others to refer you.

    Dan Sullivan, The Strategic Coach for top producers, says that saying please and thank you are two important things to do toward getting more referrals from existing clients. It's saying thank you for taking the time to meet with you, for doing business with you and for giving you referrals. It's expressing gratitude and appreciation in creative ways and building a strong business relationship.

  • Finally, you must get back to the people who gave you the referral — You must let them know what happens with their referral.
Making yourself referable boils down to building trust and a strong relationship with your clients. Consider, in most cases, the level of trust it takes to generate client referrals is even higher than it takes to get clients to buy from you.

If you want to consistently attract ideal prospects, increase your sales, earn a larger income, be more profitable, work fewer hours, have more time to spend with your family and friends and enjoy life, then stop prospecting and making yourself referable.