Referrals are an important part of making any business successful, but especially in areas where traditional marketing activities are harder to execute. In rural locations, there is little opportunity to gain passing trade, and getting adverts seen across a wide geographic range is a costly endeavor.
While referrals are by no means the only method of marketing your insurance agent services in a rural location, it's an easy way to support your other activities. We look at why rural insurance broker referrals are so beneficial and how to encourage them.
Why referrals are a worthwhile marketing tactic for rural insurance companies
A rural location means that selecting marketing activities with the geographical coverage you need is tricky. In a city, one billboard could be seen by hundreds or thousands of people over the course of a few days. In a rural location there aren't enough people passing by to have the same impact.
Online marketing activities go some way to ensuring more people see your adverts. However, a rural location can present problems with a regular internet connection, both from which to carry out your marketing activities and for your target audience to find you. Unfortunately, this means your marketing efforts can take much longer to set up and carry out, and make it harder to reach the same number of users.
Referrals on the other hand, mean that new customers don't need to be in the right place or looking at the right page to find out about your services. You don't even have to be especially local to your new customers, as long as you have mutual connections. Farmers may meet each other at industry events and shows, while they'll also be in touch with other professionals, such as accountants, who can make recommendations for other essential services.
How to increase referrals as a rural insurance broker
- Encourage referrals by maintaining good client relationships – While you should be aiming to provide good customer service wherever you do business, when referrals are your main source of new enquiries it's vital you go the extra mile to make sure your existing clients refer you.
- Offering a referral program – Hopefully your outstanding customer service is enough to warrant a recommendation alone, but by offering existing customers a reward program you make it really worth their time. It also gives you a reason to mention referrals and ask them to recommend you to their contacts.
- Linking with local businesses – Chances are, if you need to deal with other local businesses, your farmers do too. Make as many local connections as you can so that anyone can recommend you if the subject of insurance comes up.
- Doing what you can online – Although you may not be able to do as much online as you'd like to, it's important to do what you can to back-up in person referrals. Lots of people will search a company before they make contact with them, even if they have received a glowing report from somebody else. Make sure your online presence supports your referrals with a professional website and reviews if possible.
- Ensuring your product range suits local needs – A sure-fire way to impress existing clients is by offering them exactly what they need – rather than asking them to compromise. Knowing that you go the extra mile to provide the right solution means they'll feel even more confident recommending your services.
At Primacy Underwriting our insurance products are just what Australian farmers need. We work with all of our brokers to make sure they have the tools and technology they need to make a success of their business. Learn more about what we offer our brokers.