I’d been thinking about starting a formal referral program at my office, Alan Galvez Insurance, for a while, but had been getting hung up on the details. The typical referral programs always left me cold:
- Someone gives you a name and contact info.
- You contact this person (who you may have never met or talked to before) and hope against hope that the person who referred gave him/her a heads up. If not, it’s major AWKWARD time.
Let’s face it, people don’t want to talk about insurance anyway. Throw in some random person asking lots of questions and I think I’d personally rather have a colonoscopy without anesthetic. Way less uncomfortable 🙂
So, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my fellow ladies in the insurance world have a referral program that was the exact opposite of the above and extremely successful. I asked her, “What in the WORLD are you doing that is so successful?” And she responded, “Instead of having names just “given” to us, we make our customers actively participate. They tell people to call us for a quote and mention who referred them. The referrer gets a $10 gift card to a local merchant. That’s it. Nothing fancy. Nothing difficult. And nothing high tech.
It just works.
Insurance having made me cynical and skeptical, I kept asking her lots of questions like “Does it really work?” and “Don’t you get a lot that turn out to be non-productive?” You can probably think of tons of additional questions…….
Once she beat it into my head that “Yes, it does work” and “Yes, we get the occasional bum lead, but not very often”, I was sold. You see, genius that she is, has done a masterful job of marketing the program- she tells everyone who will listen and actively engages her friends/fans on Facebook by thanking them online, even showing pictures of their choices of prizes, and asking them to choose, inserting ooh and ahhh factors where appropriate.
But you know what I think is the cornerstone of her success?
She and her staff are 110% committed. They believe in the program and scream it from the rooftops. It’s part of their daily routine and life and comes second nature. Because without commitment, you just have a good idea. And one of my most favorite sayings is “Ideas are great, but execution is everything.” (I came up with it, but still so true).
So in this spirit, our referral program is patterned after my friend’s. Here’s how it will work:
- You tell your friend to call us for a quote
- They mention your name (this is sooo important or you don’t get your prize)
- We send you a $10 gift card to a local merchant (we’re starting with Sweet Aromas cafe and Peach Tree Books and Gifts, but will change the inventory periodically).
That’s it. And what I really like about our approach is that we’re only going to use locally-owned independent merchants. We’re strong believers in supporting local merchants because they support us. We’re all dependent on each other and the better they do, the better we do. And that benefits our entire community. Simple, huh?
So I have a simple request- please help us get the ball rolling. Share with others, talk it up, and by all means, send us referrals.
I know I won’t see overnight success (she’s been doing it for 15 years), but I’m confident the results will be good. Everyone wins in this situation. Check out our website for additional details. And get cracking- free loot is always good, right?
So, a public thank you to Donna Hosfeld of Hosfeld Insurance, for being so gracious to share the details of her referral program with me. I am continually impressed by your giving, sharing nature and your awesome ability to interact with others. Hopefully, we’ll meet in person someday, but we’ll always have social media, right?
Anyone want to share their referral program success stories? Or what NOT to do?
As always, thanks for reading.