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There is a huge difference between the self-proclaimed experts who are really recruiters in disguise and will promise you anything and everything to get your business... verses people who have over 30 years of experience and are actually dedicating their lives to helping you to succeed in this business.
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How To Generate Automatic Referrals…
By Providing Outstanding Customer Service!

This is one of the most important subjects I will ever talk to you about. And, it is what makes the difference of being just an average producer and a top producer in our industry.

Why, you ask?

It's simple - if you don't take excellent care of your existing clients, they will find someone else who will. (Your Competition)

Why did you think corporate earnings have slowed for many businesses? It’s because they fail to place a high enough value on client retention.

Most companies focus all of their time, energy, and money on one thing… Getting New Customers In The Door!

But once they get a new client, they spend almost no time, energy or money on keeping that client happy.

This Is A Huge Mistake!

Did you know it's five times more expensive to market to a prospect (someone who doesn't know you) than a client (someone who knows and trusts you)?

Where do you think long-term profits and earnings come from - constantly having to find new customers OR maintaining your existing client base and growing it through referrals and renewals?

I think the answer is pretty obvious. Yet most businesses I've observed do the exact opposite. They spend the majority of their time trying to convince strangers to do business with them, and they completely ignore their most valuable asset…

Their Existing Clients!

Dan Sullivan, a top success coach, and founder of The Strategic Coach®, created a set of four habits salespeople and entrepreneurs need to practice in order to maintain their existing clients, and generate automatic, unsolicited referrals.

Here Are Dan Sullivan's Four Refer-ability Habits:

1. Show Up On Time
How often do service providers show up late, return calls late, or keep their clients waiting? This creates a feeling of anger and resentment and make your clients feel like you don't respect or value their time.

Don't make this mistake - return calls when promised, and show up to all appointments and seminars on time.

2. Do What You Say
How many salespeople and service providers promise you the world before they have your money, then fall far short of providing the service they originally promised after they have your money?

This may get a company the sale once, but no one will ever repeat purchase from them since they didn't do what they originally promised.

3. Finish What You Start
Builders and contractors are notorious for not finishing what they start. All of us have experienced entering into an agreement with a service provider who does half the work, and then stops for one reason or another and never completes the job.

Make sure you finish what you start with all of your clients - that means sticking with them all the way through negotiating for a better financial aid package, and making sure they get what they deserved at the different schools they applied to.

Don't make the mistake of only focusing on signing up new clients without also completing the service for your existing clients.

Remember, you want your existing clients to renew with you next year.

4. Say Please And Thank You
When was the last time a service provider said "please" and "thank you" and genuinely meant it? You must show appreciation for your clients - they are the lifeblood of your business. Make sure you treat them like gold!

Sullivan's Four Refer ability Habits sound deceptively simple, don't they? The problem is not 1 in 100 businesses actually practice these four simple skills consistently.

Here are two additional habits that I feel are necessary for you to automatically generate referrals and renewals:

5. Under-promise And Over-deliver
Most salespeople do the exact opposite of this - they promise you the world, and automatically set their clients up for disappointment.

Always promise your clients less than what you think you can accomplish. This way, when your results are better than expected, they think you walk on water, and end up referring and renewing with you.

If, on the other hand, you promise you will get your clients a consistent 25% return on their investment, you are bound to disappoint them which means they won't be referring or renewing with you and they will tell, at least, 5 - 10 of their friends not to use your services.

Don't make this mistake - instead under-promise and over-deliver.

6. Bond With Your Clients
Most businesses don't have any idea how to "bond" with their clients. They feel business relationships should be treated differently than personal relationships.

They Are Dead Wrong!

People are people, and they enjoy the emotions of love, respect, friendship, closeness, honesty, integrity, recognition, etc., regardless of whether the relationship is business or personal.

Don't try to fight this. Instead, look at all of your clients as friends, and treat them that way.

Send them written correspondence once a month to keep in touch with them. I love using a monthly newsletter for this!

Send them unexpected gifts (like books, audiotapes, brownies) to let them know how much you appreciate them.

Admit when you're wrong instead of arguing and send apology letters or gifts.

Recognize them in your newsletter and let them know they're special, and make personal calls to your best clients to see how they're doing.

If you consistently practice these six habits over the next 90 days, you will start to see a dramatic change in your business. Business will start to flow to you almost automatically without you having to push so hard for it.

You will also begin to enjoy your business and your clients more, and it will start to feel more like fun instead of work.

Also, make sure you constantly listen to your clients - what they like, what they don't like, why they bought from you, why they renewed with you, what other products and services you can provide for them, etc.

Your clients have all the answers, if you listen to them.

"Give your clients what they want, and then give them a little bit more!"

Yours in success,
Jeremy and Lew Nason
"The 9 Out of 10 Guys"

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President, Pathfinder Group, LLC a national brokerage agency

A solid approach to calling referred prospects
By Bill Cates

Your first phone call to your new referred prospect will be influenced by many things. You need to have a very thorough approach.

What do you say when you get on the phone with your newly referred prospects? Here’s a template from which you can base your own script. I think you’ll find it particularly helpful to read this column a few times and then craft your own dialogue that fits your situation. Since I believe the best referral is an introduction, we’ll assume that in this sample script.


Hello (prospect’s name), this is (your name) with (company name). I know you’re busy; the reason I’m calling is that your name recently came up in a conversation I was having with (referrer’s name).


Did George tell you that I would be calling?

Great. By the way, George is a real admirer of your golf game. Do you play often?

Bob, I’m curious. What did George have to say to you about the work I do? Do you currently have a close working relationship with a financial professional?

(Prospect says yes.) That’s great. Then you know the importance of the right kind of professional advice. I’m curious, have you and your advisor created a specific financial plan from which you make most of your financial decisions?

(Prospects says yes.) Of course, if you’re completely happy with your plan and your current advisor, we may not have anything further to discuss. On the other hand, there may be some ways I can help you that your current advisor is just not aware of. Based on the good things George said about me, would you be open to scheduling a no-obligation meeting to get a fresh look at your situation?

(Prospect says no, that he/she doesn't have a plan.) I think one of the reasons George was so interested in introducing you to me is because of the process we use to set proper financial goals and then create a plan to make sure you’re making progress toward those goals.

May I ask you a few of quick questions?

Have you set very specific financial goals?

How has your progress been toward those goals?

Are you confident you’ll reach your goals?

Do you save regularly or do you typically invest in lump sums? In what way?

What is your greatest concern these days about your financial goals?

Based on this conversation, I really think I’ll be of some help to you. I’d like to suggest that we schedule a no-obligation meeting to review your situation in greater detail and to discuss the services we offer. Whether we end up working together or not, I’m confident you’ll find this meeting to be a valuable use of your time. Do you have your calendar handy?

As I stated at the beginning of this column, your first phone call to your newly referred prospect will be influenced by many things. The important thing is that you don’t wing it. You need to have a very thorough approach. You don’t have to “script it” if you don’t want, but you better not fumble and bumble. Be clear about who you are and why you’re calling. An important phrase I used above is, “I know you’re busy; the reason I’m calling is…”

I highly recommend you use this as the opening to all your first calls to your prospects.


Bill Cates is the author of two popular books on referrals. Unlimited Referrals has established Bill as one of the foremost experts on how to build a thriving business with referrals. His newest book, Get More Referrals Now, was published by McGraw-Hill. Bill is the president of Referral Coach International and the creator of The Unlimited Referrals® System

“Acting on a good idea is better than just having a good idea.”
Robert Half

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"I just made a large (for me) annuity sale that would have not been possible had I not used
your website (the Insurance Marketing & Sales Resource Center) and your coaching advice.
I have learned to listen much, much, more than talk. The sale is made by them not me. And most
importantly I did the right thing for the client because they will be earning much more income
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was for $24,000 commission, not a bad day!!!
This is only step one in the planning  process,
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Brian H. - PA

Five habits that could be killing your production
By Paul M Mallett

Make an honest assessment of your own routine. Do any of these bad habits sound familiar? If so, pinpoint the root causes behind that habit and go on the attack.

Our habits, good or bad, have incredible power over our lives. Worst case, they can drive us to a life of disappointment and failure. Best case, we can harness them and use them as a tool to achieve success. Here are a few bad habits that could be standing between you and the career of your dreams:

1. Wasting precious time - Time is the one commodity we can’t make more of. It’s precious. Are you treating it that way? What time is your first client meeting today? How much of your precious time each day is spent in front of a client or prospect? Chances are, it’s not enough. Track your activities for a week. Take an honest look at the actual percentage of your time spent on the things that really drive your business. Set a goal to increase that by a minimum of 25 percent. Plan your day in advance to meet that goal, and check again after 30 days. There is a direct correlation between what you spend your time on, and how successful you are.

2. Allowing negative thoughts to rule - Negative thoughts surround us every day. News accounts of terrorism, the weak economy, wars and yes, political ads come at us from every direction. We all have a downer friend or two that sees the negative in everything. They tell us things like, “The deck is stacked against the little guy.” “You can’t win in this economy.” Enough already! Don’t buy it, and more importantly, don’t perpetuate this junk. No one controls your destiny but you. Find creative ways to eliminate negative influences from your environment. Develop your ability to recognize negative energy immediately and replace it with positive affirmations. The world is not a horrible place and it is possible to succeed. Decide today to drive negativity out of the space around you. Your life and business will improve immediately.

3. Giving up too soon - Persistence is a critical factor to success. You never really lose until you give up trying. Recent studies have shown most producers give up on a lead after one try. One try! Are you kidding? Then they complain the leads are no good. If you’re going to invest in a lead, at least put some effort into converting it. The same studies show the chances for a sale go up dramatically with each contact. Be persistent. Don’t quit. You could be three feet from gold and not even know it. Pick a number (greater than one), and really commit to contacting a prospect at least that many times before giving up.

4. Not taking care of your health - No list of keys to success is complete without a reference to your health, but it’s critical. Get seven or eight hours of sleep per night. Drink more water. Maintain a healthy weight. Renowned brain expert Dr. Daniel Amen tells us the fatter we get, the smaller our brains are. Yikes! That should scare all of us out of obesity. As a financial/risk management professional, your brain is the tool of your trade. Treat it and the rest of your body like it is your most valuable business asset - because it is.

5. Getting complacent - This is the worst of the list. Business expert Jim Collins famously said, “Good is the enemy of great.” It’s absolutely true. Many people achieve a certain level of success and then stop trying. They get comfortable. They reach a self-created ceiling of success and then stop doing the things that got them there. Don’t do that to yourself. You deserve better. Your potential is limited only by you. You may be living the good life, but you could be living the great life.

Make an honest assessment of your own routine. Do any of these bad habits sound familiar? If so, pinpoint the root causes behind that habit and go on the attack. The best way to drop a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.

Wasting time? Set aside 15 minutes a day to plan and prioritize your day.

Gotten a little too complacent? Commit to a seminar that will improve a key skill.

Whatever it is, just do something. You are capable of so much more than you think.



Paul M. Mallett, RFC, is the Senior VP/CMO of Postema Marketing Group, LLC

Postema Marketing Group is a full service Independent Marketing Organization (IMO), dedicated to providing world-class products and services to our clients. At PMG, we believe this is an incredibly exciting time to be alive and in our business. The world around us is changing rapidly, but our values are not. Products and technology may change and market forces may shift, but Postema Marketing Group remains committed to the same values and philosophy that have served founder Dennis Postema since 2009. We are growing and investing aggressively in innovative new products and services aimed at the future of our industry.

“Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is
knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.”

David Star Jordan

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"Lew’s coaching and system has helped my practice immensely! Learning from Lew on how to
 ask questions the right way, helped me close $16,800 in commissions in 2 weeks! Thanks Lew!"

Ron Fara, RIA - IL
(9 years in business)

"Allstate has spent a ton of money on similar programs,
but in my humble opinion, what you offer is much better."

"Lew, I recently purchased your Advanced Fact-Finding Video... I have been on two interviews
so far and used the methods you described. It was surprising how the folks opened-up. Not only
were their defenses totally down, but they actually stated that they liked the low-pressure approach
and questioning process to find out what their needs/concerns were before they were asked to buy
anything. In both cases the customer actually told me what they were going to buy... By the way,
I am going to recommend that you contact Allstate's Financial Specialist Manger, so you can help
them with their sales efforts. They have spent a ton of money on similar programs, but in my
humble opinion, what you offer is much better. Feel free to drop my name.
Robert Dupuis, Allstate Agency Owner - TX

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