Best time to call a referral? Immediately.
There is no better time to call a referral than the very moment you walk out of the presence of the referrer. Not because the prospect is any better right now than two days from now. It's because you, the agent, are in the absolute best frame of mind to set that next appointment. The most excited you'll ever be is when you have delivered a policy and asked and received referrals.
When you sell a policy--whether it's life insurance, annuities, health insurance, long-term care insurance, anything--and you are going to deliver an issued policy, that's the best time to get referrals. You then ask a question: "Mr. Client, if your best friend were to walk through that door right now, would you introduce me to him?" He will reply, "Yes." "Mr. Client, your best friend isn't going to walk through that door right now, so you can introduce him to me by long distance. What is his name?"
You write down the name on a 3x5 card and lay it on the table. Then say "Mr. Client, if your second best friend were to walk through that door right now, would you introduce him to me, too? I promise not to tell him he's second best."
Keep going until you have five names or as many as possible. Then go back to the first card and ask for the friend's address and cell phone number. Ask for his wife's name. Ask for his children's names. If your client can answer all of this, he's given you the name and number of a real friend. If he can't, leave and tear up the cards. They are no good to you.
When you leave his presence, pick up your cell phone and make the call to his best friend. The call should go something like this:
"Mr. John Prospect?"
"Hello Mr. Prospect, my name is Kim Magdalein. I just left Mr. Tom Client. He said you and he are good friends. Mr. Prospect, Mr. Client just took advantage of some good ideas I brought his way. I would like to share these ideas with you, too. If they fit your philosophy and your pocketbook, we can do some business. If not, I'll be on my way. Is that fair enough? Good. Would 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday be a good time for you? Or would 4:30 p.m. on Thursday be better?"
The most important part of the call is the timing. Your frame of mind is excitement and enthusiasm. If you wait, the cards will get dog-eared and stale and so will you.
This has worked well for a long time and works well today. I learned it from Judge Ziglar, so he gets the credit. Put this technique to work today, and it will help you keep that funnel of prospects full, leading to more sales.
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A Kim L. Magdalein is a producer and owner of PresentYourPractice.com. He entered the industry in 1985 and went into private practice in 2001, serving the Jacksonville, Fla., retirement community. He can be reached at (800) 909-9894.