Back to Basics – A new way to look at referrals or…Do your Friend a Favor

By George Nordhaus of


The best way (and it always has been) to get new business is through referrals.


No, that’s not very earth-shaking news…it’s a fact in the basics of selling that every agent instinctively understands.


Of course, the ideal situation is when referrals come to you…and you didn’t even ask your clients or friends to be so accommodating.  But…


If there was ever a time we needed referrals more than now…I wasn’t around to see it.  Maybe in the Great Depression?


Embarrassing to ask?


One of the major reasons, I believe, for agents NOT to solicit referrals from their friends is that they believe it might show a weakness.


It’s the old “we are desperate for business and need your help” syndrome. We tell ourselves that asking for referrals reveals that, in this tough economy, we really DO need help in growing.  We feel that asking for help admits that we are having a difficult time of it, and if we don’t get cooperation from friends we will be curtailing services, going under… or something as drastic.


Here’s the irony of this hesitancy.  We think that when we ask for help, we are asking someone to do us a favor.


On the contrary, when we ask someone for help we are giving them a chance to like us even more.


The less-understood result of doing a favor for someone, psychologists say, is that after we do the favor for them, we “bond” more closely with that person.  We feel that we will be appreciated in some more meaningful way.


Referrals in a new light?


  1. In addition to the business that results, there are these two factors that make this source of new business more rewarding:
  2. Not only are you giving the referrer a chance to feel better about him/herself,  you bond more closely to him/her as a client…and a friend.

You are also doing a favor for the new customers who result from the referral. Why? Because you are about to give them more personal attention, more annual reviews, more personal “service” than they are getting now. In the long run they will save money and be better off in many ways by doing business with your agency.




Try this simple system.  Make a list of ten of your clients you consider friends…and believers in your services. Tell them you want to do them a favor…by letting them do a favor for THEIR friends.


They’ll laugh when they understand the concept above…and are more likely to give you the referrals.


Oh yes, and measure the results….


Then go get the next ten.


For additional information, contact George at X210 or or (888)985-3331 X210 – 

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