The way you're trained to ask for referrals is pushy, obnoxious, and downright embarrassing. You hate it and your clients hate it, and it does nothing to further you’re relationship. You ask clever questions like, who are the three people who speak most highly of you.

Choke, puke, gag. Stop it and stop it right now if you’re using these horrendous highly manipulative tactics. You don’t have to stoop to these high pressure approaches to get the referrals you want and need.

The biggest thing for you to remember about referrals is that you have to earn them. Just because someone penned their name to some paper work doesn’t mean you have in any way shape or form earned a referral. You earn a referral when you exceed a customer’s expectations and that takes a little time.

Now there are ways to accelerate the process and make it something they voluntarily do without any hesitation. Think about why you recommend someone to the people you know. You do it because in your opinion they provided: more value than the competition, service with integrity, more quality in how they fulfilled their service, etc.

If you take away nothing else from this article take this one idea and never forget it. Whatever everyone else is doing don’t do that. And that absolutely means never approach referrals the way you’ve been trained.

One of the quickest ways to accelerate the referral process, provided you are capable of exceeding your customer’s expectations, is to make something about your service so valuable that they’ll want to share it with their friends. If you want to make prospecting a piece of cake start looking at how other service providers outside your industry market themselves really well, and adapt it to your situation. Viral marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools ever.

If you’re familiar with websites like YouTube and MySpace you understand what viral marketing is. The reason viral marketing is so powerful is because it engages the visitor and because those visiting the websites find the information or things there entertaining or informative they blast all their friends directing them to the website. Now you may be wondering what the heck that has to do with you, referrals, and insurance sales.

It’s an easy connection that you can make that will lead to tons of unasked for referrals. You simply create something that your clients value as critical information, highly entertaining, or an exclusive opportunity. Then if you’ve done your job right and you let them know that you encourage them to share this with the people they know perhaps even developing a fun incentive for doing so that gets them something more; you’ve got a viral referral system bringing qualified leads into your sales funnel. Geez, stop thinking like a boring insurance sales person.

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