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Rev Up Your Referrals

To encourage referrals, give blank phone directories to clients and prospects.

By Ned Ricks

Buy some blank phone directories with alphabetical tabs. These can be fancy desktop types that cost $20 or more, or the pocket sort produced by sales promotional firms that cost less than a dollar. The cost is not the object.

When you visit your clients and centers of influence, hand them a phone directory. Resist the “put it in the mail” method of delivery; it doesn’t work. When you are face-to-face with your client, say something like this: “Because you are my valued client, I brought you this phone directory. So you can always find me, I have already put my name here under ‘N’ for Ned, under ‘R’ for Ricks, under ‘I’ for insurance and also under the name of my company.”

After your client thanks you, ask him: “Who else would be among the first people you want to put in your new phone book?” These are usually the most important people to the client. Ask if you may call on them to make their acquaintance so that when they need an insurance professional, you will already be in their phone book.

Ned B. Ricks, CLU, is managing member of Guidon Consulting, of Gurnee, Ill. Contact him at 847-856-8826 or


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