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When you’re decent at what you do, over time you’ll bump into a certain number of people who are referred to you. You can call this “bump theory.” With enough time and enough connections, you’ll bump into referral sources. These referrals enable only mediocre growth. Referrals are not going to help your agency grow hand-over- fist. The reality is quite the opposite. Relying on referrals is an old-world way of prospecting new clients. It can work, but it’s not going to get you the results you really want. Salespeople who focus on referrals can land those referral clients, no problem. But the result of that approach is a lot of small and insignificant accounts that they have to manage. It bogs them down and ultimately prevents them from going after more meaningful clients. The flipside of this approach is much more targeted. If you want to be strategic, you can turn to current clients or other professional connections you have to leverage introductions with the potential clients you really want. This is the new-world approach. You know your clients. You know who your professional connections know. Chances SET YOURSELF APART WITH A RED HOT INTRODUCTION
are there are people you want to be in business with. It’s just a matter of making it happen. Making it happen is being proactive in getting those Red Hot Introductions. When someone else makes the introduction and lauds your work and your professionalism, you’re basically being handed a red-carpet reception. Getting to that point is a two-step process. You first have to do your homework. As an insurance agent, you have a lot of clues sitting right in front of you. You may have access to your client’s top suppliers or other similar professional connections. When you vet those connections and decide on a person you want to meet on a call or in a face-to-face meeting with your current client, you can say something like “Hey, don’t you know so-and-so?” That gets your foot in the door and opens up the conversation about that person.
Here’s something else to keep in mind when thinking about this new-world approach: Dump the word “referrals.” It has a lot of baggage. Going out and asking for “referrals” is awkward enough. You certainly don’t want to bring it into the introduction conversation. Referrals are also a very reactive way to grow. You can only act when a referral comes to you. You’re simply not in nearly as much control as you would be with a Red Hot Introduction. After all, when you ask for an introduction, you’re being proactive. You’re making it happen.
– Randy Schwantz
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